'One of its most notable contributors was in Broadmoor'
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Saturday 04 September 2010
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.
Monday 30 August 2010
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.
Thursday 12 August 2010
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.
Monday 09 August 2010
Friday 06 August 2010
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.
Friday 23 July 2010
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".
Friday 25 June 2010
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.
Education Quandary: Our son was planning to apply to university after getting his A-levels but has now lost interest. Should we apply pressure?
Thursday 27 May 2010
Monday 24 May 2010
Giovanni Battista Pergolesi - now best known for his ‘Stabat Mater’ - had a short, colourful, tragic life.
Friday 07 May 2010
Wednesday 28 April 2010
Wednesday 07 April 2010
As a white man, I'm surprised more women aren't tweeting the hashtag #KillAllWhiteMen
Scotland may have to leave the EU even if it votes to stay in, David Cameron confirms
Report finds that Britain's wages are the most unequal in Europe
Almost a third of school pupils believe 'Muslims are taking over our country', study claims
The day that Britain resigned as a global power
Gay marriage 'Bert and Ernie' cake bakery found guilty of discrimination in Northern Ireland
- 1 Crystal meth addict 'gouged out his eyes and ate them' while high on drug, Australian MP claims
- 2 As a white man, I'm surprised more women aren't tweeting the hashtag #KillAllWhiteMen
- 3 The ten most unequal developed countries in the world
- 4 Saudi Arabia 'seeking to head United Nations Human Rights Council'
- 5 Toddler throws a tantrum at the White House – in front of Barack Obama