'One of its most notable contributors was in Broadmoor'
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Wordwatching: Field Notes from an Amateur Philologist by Julian Burnside, book review: 'The wonderful world of language, in so many words'
Tuesday 28 January 2014
The Australian author of this lively collection of essays about language is an amiable guide to his subject. "Amiable" is, however, a stiff adjective to use when describing Julian Burnside, QC, who praises HW Fowler, author of A Dictionary of Modern English Usage (1926), and Samuel Johnson for allowing their personalities to colour their writings about words. He mocks philologists for their dryness, dismisses "cherished superstitions" that remain popular with conservative querulists and describes an attempt to ban the use of "mate" from the Australian parliament in appropriately matey style.
Monday 23 December 2013
1. Who was sentenced to a year in prison in March for arranging the wiretapping of a political rival and publishing the recorded conversation?
Saturday 14 December 2013
Something to Declare
Thursday 12 December 2013
309 offences to be repealed and removed from the statue book this year
Thursday 05 December 2013
Sometimes, it seems, autocorrect just isn’t on board with the fun stuff
Wednesday 04 December 2013
It's got and LCD screen on the front and an E Ink display (above) on the back - but does it make any sense when you're using it?
Tuesday 26 November 2013
It makes Gibbon’s six-volume Decline And Fall Of The Roman Empire look like a postcard. The weight of the printed version is likely to be equivalent to that of a Toyota Aygo car.
Tuesday 19 November 2013
'Selfie' beat 'twerk' and 'binge-watch' to be chosen as the word of the year
Thursday 19 September 2013
A friend challenged me to a game of Scrabble. They should have known better
Friday 13 September 2013
Do you find yourself listening in to 'young people' conversations unable to understand a word of what they're saying?
Tuesday 03 September 2013
The country’s language association took the respected Duden Sprachewörterbuch’s editors to task for using the word ‘soccer’
Tuesday 03 September 2013
Dogs at Battersea Cats and Dogs Home have been taking ‘selfies’ in a bid to attract new owners with their pouty profiles.
Thursday 29 August 2013
Book review: Hobson-Jobson: The Definitive Glossary of British India Henry Yule & AC Burnell, edited by Kate Teltscher
Friday 09 August 2013
A mutual trade in vocabulary took place during the British Raj, this book illustrates
Thursday 08 August 2013
Unrepentant MEP refuses to back down or apologise over comments that caused storm of protest, insisting there was no racist intent behind phrase
Stephen Fry explains what he would say if he was 'confronted by God'
9 reasons Greece's experiment with the radical left is doomed to failure
Have we reached 'peak food'? Shortages loom as global production rates slow
British grandmother Lindsay Sandiford faces execution by firing squad in Indonesia
Liberal Democrat minister defends comments suggesting immigration causes pub closures
Hard line on immigration could cost Tories the election
- 1 Stephen Fry explains what he would say if he was 'confronted by God'
- 2 Venezuela Expo Tattoo 2015: Extreme body art from 'Vampire Woman' to 109mm earlobes
- 4 Ball pool for adults opens in London
- 5 Amal Clooney gives excellent response to fashion question at European Court of Human Rights