Arts and Entertainment

'One of its most notable contributors was in Broadmoor'

Amy Jenkins: Conservatism is at the root of William Hague's difficulties

William Hague's sharing of a hotel room with his young and handsome special adviser may well turn out to be the scandal that wasn't – but that doesn't mean it was anything less than tragic.

'Oxford English Dictionary' may not be printed again

After more than two decades in production, the latest edition of the Oxford English Dictionary may never make it to print, its publisher has said. Oxford University Press has blamed the rise in popularity of electronic publications and reference websites for a decline in demand for printed dictionaries.

Slang dictionary of 17th-century London revealed

In 1699 the word "slang" had not even been coined. Nevertheless, a newly uncovered book proves that whether you were an "arsworm" ("a little diminutive Fellow") or a "bundletail" ("a short Fat or squat Lass"), colloquial language was thriving in 17th-century England.

Samuel Johnson: A Life, By David Nokes

After numerous modern biographies and even one about his dictionary, all excellent in their different ways, you might think that everything worth saying about the self-styled "harmless drudge" of lexicography has been said. Yet no other recent portrait has captured this verbally inspired figure with the unvarnished clarity of Nokes.

Oxford Dictionary of English Idioms, By John Ayto

This fascinating book reminds us how much of English is a sort of code. Ayto points out, "There is no way you could guess that 'kick the bucket' means 'to die'." A chilling derivation is the "pail on which a person committing suicide might stand".

Satisdiction, By Ammon Shea

Who had the idea of sexing up this book's original title, Reading the Oxford English Dictionary? Either you like the idea or you don't. Shea is a dictionary-obsessed New Yorker who spent a year reading the OED. The consequences were a pounding headache after the first three hours, a bad back and a "significant deterioration" in his eyesight.

Florilegium/Kirkby/Blaze, Wigmore Hall, London

Giovanni Battista Pergolesi - now best known for his ‘Stabat Mater’ - had a short, colourful, tragic life.

Tom Sutcliffe: There's merit in pretension

The week in culture

It's time that museums stopped cramping our style

Fashion exhibitions don't have to be in stuffy glass cases, says Harriet Walker. Clothes can be living, dynamic creations, too

Carola Long: Scrabbling all the way to the bottom

Maybe some young people are sentient enough to play by the existing rules
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War with Isis: Iraq declares victory in the battle for Tikrit - but militants make make ominous advances in neighbouring Syria's capital

War with Isis

Iraq declares victory in the battle for Tikrit - but militants make make ominous advances in neighbouring Syria
Scientists develop mechanical spring-loaded leg brace to improve walking

A spring in your step?

Scientists develop mechanical leg brace to help take a load off
Peter Ackroyd on Alfred Hitchcock: How London shaped the director's art and obsessions

Peter Ackroyd on Alfred Hitchcock

Ackroyd has devoted his literary career to chronicling the capital and its characters. He tells John Walsh why he chose the master of suspense as his latest subject
Ryan Reynolds interview: The actor is branching out with Nazi art-theft drama Woman in Gold

Ryan Reynolds branches out in Woman in Gold

For every box-office smash in Ryan Reynolds' Hollywood career, there's always been a misconceived let-down. It's time for a rethink and a reboot, the actor tells James Mottram
Why Robin Williams safeguarded himself against a morbid trend in advertising

Stars safeguard against morbid advertising

As film-makers and advertisers make increasing posthumous use of celebrities' images, some stars are finding new ways of ensuring that they rest in peace
The UK horticulture industry is facing a skills crisis - but Great Dixter aims to change all that

UK horticulture industry facing skills crisis

Great Dixter manor house in East Sussex is encouraging people to work in the industry by offering three scholarships a year to students, as well as generous placements
Hack Circus aims to turn the rule-abiding approach of TED talks on its head

Hack Circus: Technology, art and learning

Hack Circus aims to turn the rule-abiding approach of TED talks on its head. Rhodri Marsden meets mistress of ceremonies Leila Johnston
Sevenoaks is split over much-delayed decision on controversial grammar school annexe

Sevenoaks split over grammar school annexe

If Weald of Kent Grammar School is given the go-ahead for an annexe in leafy Sevenoaks, it will be the first selective state school to open in 50 years
10 best compact cameras

A look through the lens: 10 best compact cameras

If your smartphone won’t quite cut it, it’s time to invest in a new portable gadget
Paul Scholes column: Ross Barkley played well against Italy but he must build on that. His time to step up and seize that England No 10 shirt is now

Paul Scholes column

Ross Barkley played well against Italy but he must build on that. His time to step up and seize that England No 10 shirt is now
Why Michael Carrick is still proving an enigma for England

Why Carrick is still proving an enigma for England

Manchester United's talented midfielder has played international football for almost 14 years yet, frustratingly, has won only 32 caps, says Sam Wallace
Tracey Neville: The netball coach who is just as busy as her brothers, Gary and Phil

Tracey Neville is just as busy as her brothers, Gary and Phil

The former player on how she is finding time to coach both Manchester Thunder in the Superleague and England in this year's World Cup
General Election 2015: The masterminds behind the scenes

The masterminds behind the election

How do you get your party leader to embrace a message and then stick to it? By employing these people
Machine Gun America: The amusement park where teenagers go to shoot a huge range of automatic weapons

Machine Gun America

The amusement park where teenagers go to shoot a huge range of automatic weapons
The ethics of pet food: Why are we are so selective in how we show animals our love?

The ethics of pet food

Why are we are so selective in how we show animals our love?