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Being Modern: Burlesque

Burlesque is all about the tease. It involves a joke, a knowing wink. It's about celebrating the natural female form. It's a theatrical performance, naughty but nice, subversive but saucy...

Blackberry have found it increasingly difficult to compete in the mobile phone market with more fashionable Apple and Android phones

Addictive no more... 'Crackberry' owner gives up the fight with Apple

Disastrous slump in sales sees Research in Motion ditch consumer market to focus on business users

Spelling: When wordsmiths go to war

"P.T.E.R.O.D.A.C.T.Y.L?" Even as someone who gets paid to write words, that one nearly stung me. The spelling bee, the US educational staple made famous by 2002 documentary, Spellbound, is now available to test British wordsmiths' spelling abilities.

For the aspirant middle classes in England and America, the Britannica voulmes were often the first books the family owned

Encyclopedia Britannica: The end of its shelf life

Its current print run will be its last ever. John Walsh mourns the end of 244 years of bourgeois self-improvement

...meh

Vocabulary: The moment meh became too boring for words

The word "meh", the verbal equivalent of a shrug of the shoulders, might date all the way back to a 1994 episode of The Simpsons, but in recent years it has become everyone's favourite way of expressing anything from tedium to indifference online.

Errors & Omissions: Take a peek at this pike from the peak – but leave the peke behind

Bryan Clarke writes from Dartford in Kent to draw attention to this, from a picture caption in last Saturday's magazine: "Take a peak at his rarely glimpsed later works." That should, of course, be "peek".

Mark Steel: If religion is 'marginal', I'm the Pope

Baroness Warsi is clearly committed to making religion look ridiculous

French scholar Dr David Macey

Dr David Macey: Internationally renowned French scholar

With the death of Dr David Macey, we have lost an internationally renowned scholar, author and translator, whose publications mapped and excavated the terrain of contemporary French intellectual and political debates.

The Blagger's Guide To...Dictionaries

Lexicon, a word book, from the Latin <i>dictio</i>

Letter from the i editor: I have a confession

I have a confession I am a little nervous of making, given the extreme reactions we get to this subject: I don’t do crosswords.

'No, we shouldn&rsquo;t just Google it': John Walsh laments the death of the reference book

Sales of reference books are sinking fast as we turn online for the answers to life's big &ndash; and small &ndash; questions. But our civilisation would be infinitely poorer if Roget's, Brewer's and Fowler's go out of print, argues John Walsh

Prophecy, By SJ Parris

Zounds! An Elizabethan feast &ndash; with a surfeit of ham

Dictionary consigns 'aerodrome' to history

While it may have been a rare occasion that one heard the word "wittol", it is now likely to become even more so, as it joins a number of words that have become extinct in the past year.

First Sight: Pottermore.com, the internet

Millions of Harry fans want more, and Pottermore &ndash; sort of &ndash; delivers
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Independent Travel
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – Five-star MS Swiss Corona 7 nights from £999pp
Lake Como St Moritz & the Bernina Express 7 nights from £809pp
Vietnam
Lake Maggiore, Orta & the Matterhorn 7 nights from £939pp
South Africa
Spain
Prices correct as of 19 December 2014
Isis in Iraq: Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment by militants

'Jilan killed herself in the bathroom. She cut her wrists and hanged herself'

Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment
Ed Balls interview: 'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'

Ed Balls interview

'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'
He's behind you, dude!

US stars in UK panto

From David Hasselhoff to Jerry Hall
Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz: What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?

Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz

What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?
Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Planet’s surface is inhospitable to humans but 30 miles above it is almost perfect
Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history - clocks, rifles, frogmen’s uniforms and colonial helmets

Clocks, rifles, swords, frogmen’s uniforms

Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history
Return to Gaza: Four months on, the wounds left by Israel's bombardment have not yet healed

Four months after the bombardment, Gaza’s wounds are yet to heal

Kim Sengupta is reunited with a man whose plight mirrors the suffering of the Palestinian people
Gastric surgery: Is it really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Is gastric surgery really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Critics argue that it’s crazy to operate on healthy people just to stop them eating
Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction Part 2 - now LIVE

Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction

Bid on original art, or trips of a lifetime to Africa or the 'Corrie' set, and help Homeless Veterans
Pantomime rings the changes to welcome autistic theatre-goers

Autism-friendly theatre

Pantomime leads the pack in quest to welcome all
The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

Sony suffered a chorus of disapproval after it withdrew 'The Interview', but it's not too late for it to take a stand, says Joan Smith
From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?

Panto dames: before and after

From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?
Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Booksellers say readers are turning away from dark modern thrillers and back to the golden age of crime writing
Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best,' says founder of JustGiving

Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best'

Ten million of us have used the JustGiving website to donate to good causes. Its co-founder says that being dynamic is as important as being kind
The botanist who hunts for giant trees at Kew Gardens

The man who hunts giants

A Kew Gardens botanist has found 25 new large tree species - and he's sure there are more out there