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The Diarists: This week in history

1st June, 1917

Joshua Ferris: The writer on hard work, an obsessive love of sports - and failing to keep up with technology

I have a strange relationship with technology I live a pretty analogue life. Ten years ago I felt like I was cutting-edge because I checked my emails, but now technology has completely overtaken me.

Quince: Middle English plural of Old French cooin

The Top Ten: Plurals that have become singular

I used "data" as a plural the other day, which is a bit old-fashioned. Data, dice, graffiti, panini, media and politics are usually singular nouns these days, and I know only one person who treats news as a plural, but Rich Greenhill came up with many other words that were once – unknown to me – plurals. Here are the best...

Nicola Barker Interview: ‘I am just a person that writes books...’

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The Novel Cure: Literary prescriptions for getting a parking ticket

Ailment: Getting a parking ticket

Alan Johnson recalled how, as a child, he used to have to stuff paper in his ears at night, to keep out the cockroaches, beetles and earwigs

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Few politicians come from more humble beginnings than the former Home Secretary Alan Johnson. He joins Simon Usborne for a stroll into a part of west London which has changed both radically – and not very much at all

Science books round-up: From pop science to matters of life and death

Popular science is as much superior entertainment as it is didactic but there is one aspect of science that impinges seriously on all our lives and life-choices: statistics. Gerd Gigerenzer, in Risk Savvy (Allen Lane, £14.99) is on a mission to shore up our defences against the statistical bemusements of risk and uncertainty.

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The late Maya Angelou had it right when she said, "a leader sees greatness in others: He or she cannot be much of a leader if all she sees is herself".

Arifa Akbar: Never mind Michael Gove, I'd ban Of Mice and Men and other over-used set texts

The Americans can't know if they're coming or going in our Brave New Ukip-enhanced World. First that gatekeeper of Commonwealth literary tradition, the Man Booker prize, opens its borders to the Americans, to a hail of doomy predictions on how British fiction will be over-run by any number of gum-chewing Yankie doodle dandies with a Creative Writing MFA in their back pockets.

Winning smile: Nigel Farage toasts the power of the people

Has Ukip's success in the European elections proved that democracy is a flawed way to choose a government?

The popular vote has been criticised by people from Plato to Winston Churchill. So has Ukip's victory proved them right?
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Educating the East End returns to Channel 4 this autumn

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Tim Vine has won the funniest joke award at the Edinburgh Festival 2014

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Jeremy Paxman has admitted he is a 'one-nation Tory' and complained that Newsnight is made by idealistic '13-year-olds' who foolishly think they can 'change the world'.

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