News

Country's Interior Ministry denies responsibility

All together now, let's all do the anniversary waltz

'The 50th anniversary of Orwell's death was in 2000. That's why it went unnoticed. It was the millennium year'

Open Diary: Monty takes aim

Orwell's Victory, by Christopher Hitchens

Would anyone dare resist the fisticuffs of Orwell's most belligerent defender? Joan Smith would

Jordi Savall: What did music really sound like in 1500?

Jordi Savall knows, and he can play the instruments to prove it. By Christopher Wood

Books: Time, ladies and gentlemen, please

Is that Mrs Woolf, in a room of her own? And Monsieur Camus, outside? Felix Bennett invites you to the last literary party of the century

WORDS: Perceive

ANARCHISTS ARE targeting Railtrack, said a report in the Times, "and hope to play on the company's perceived unpopularity after the Paddington disaster". I was not at all sure what the Times's reporter meant by "perceived unpopularity". That everyone knew how unpopular Railtrack was? Or that people generally thought it was, but that he himself did not necessarily share their view? Perceived speaks with a mealy mouth. To say, as the Times seemed to be saying here, that "people think it is unpopular" is to commit a thumping tautology, since the popularity of a thing depends, by definition, on what people think of it. Or perhaps the Times meant that the anarchists, at any rate, perceived Railtrack as unpopular. That's the trouble with passives. "It was thought that the plan was too risky." Who thought that? Passives pass the buck.

Education: A breeding ground for failure

Our education system drives too many children into apathy or worse. And it's in danger of damaging the talents of the children it neglects. Martin Newell knows - he's been through it and dragged himself up

Book Review: Executive distress

The Business by Iain Banks Little, Brown, pounds 16.99, 393pp; Fiction's wayward wizard takes on global capitalism. By Charles Shaar Murray
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