News The home of the TV weatherman has been raided by police as part of an investigation into historic sexual abuse

Fred Talbot faces 9 charges of incident assault and one serious sexual assault

Girl killed as coach crashes in 'atrocious' weather

A schoolgirl who died today when a coach carrying a party of teenagers on a trip to a theme park crashed has been named by police.

Bruce Mitchell: Anglo-Saxon scholar who wrote the definitive work on Old English syntax

The eminent Anglo-Saxonist Bruce Mitchell delighted in appearing to be a slightly old-fashioned scholar resistant to new developments, and defended his position rigorously and without apology, though always with humour. When he completed his monumental Old English Syntax in 1982, towards the end of his long career as a scholar of Anglo-Saxon, he introduced it with the words, "I have to state categorically my opinion that ... the techniques of the various forms of linguistics fashionable today have little to offer students of Old English syntax."

The Sketch: Fiddling, flipping and filching: what's a decent chap to do?

They couldn't get Lord Ashcroft to come in so they took it out on Hayden Phillips.

'Sexist' thinking still present in writing

Letters that begin "Dear Sir/Madam" and references to "Mr and Mrs" are both remnants of "sexist thinking", according to psychologists.

Charles Crawford: Language is a tool which must be kept well-honed to do its job

Language does not decay unless it ceases to be used for communication. It changes, sometimes other people's usage (or mistakes) grate upon those who say it differently, but the language itself is not in any danger.

Independents are outshone by state grammars in A-level results

State grammar schools took the top two places in this year's A-level league table, beating all of those in the independent sector.

Secondary schools tables

Errors & Omissions: Rhythmic writing and the grammatical flourish

On Boxing Day morning, you don't want this column's usual nit-picking about things that went wrong in the past week's issues of the paper. So this week we change into festive attire and offer instead a celebration of some particular felicities.

'Krak' (that's falling branch in monkey speak)

Researchers claim to have deciphered the way primates communicate

Why make learning a foreign language your New Year’s resolution?

It seems a bit churlish to start talking about New Year’s resolutions when we still have Christmas and all its glorious overindulgences to look forward to, but not all resolutions have to involve new trainers, rice cakes and celery.

Cameron keeps Mumsnet waiting

Parents left frustrated at technical delays to Conservative leader's webchat, reports Michael Savage

Anger at plan to expand grammar school system

Kent confirms reputation as Britain's most selective education authority

Overseas students are better at English than the British

Home undergraduates make three times as many grammatical, punctuation and spelling mistakes

Mary Warnock: Children need to be taught to think highly of education

Students from state schools won't tangle with the snobs and the toffs

Simon Carr: Without the right contacts, you'll never get Graham Norton on the phone

In networking terms, you wouldn’t ask a networker for a celebrity’s number
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Caroline Flack became the tenth winner of Strictly Come Dancing
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Elton John and David Furnish will marry on 21 December 2014
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J Jefferson Farjeon at home in 1953
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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
The 12 ways of Christmas: Spare a thought for those who will be working to keep others safe during the festive season

The 12 ways of Christmas

We speak to a dozen people who will be working to keep others safe, happy and healthy over the holidays
Birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends, new study shows

The male exhibits strange behaviour

A new study shows that birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends...
Diaries of Evelyn Waugh, Virginia Woolf and Noël Coward reveal how they coped with the December blues

Famous diaries: Christmas week in history

Noël Coward parties into the night, Alan Clark bemoans the cost of servants, Evelyn Waugh ponders his drinking…
From noble to narky, the fall of the open letter

From noble to narky, the fall of the open letter

The great tradition of St Paul and Zola reached its nadir with a hungry worker's rant to Russell Brand, says DJ Taylor
A Christmas ghost story by Alison Moore: A prodigal daughter has a breakthrough

A Christmas ghost story by Alison Moore

The story was published earlier this month in 'Poor Souls' Light: Seven Curious Tales'
Marian Keyes: The author on her pre-approved Christmas, true love's parking implications and living in the moment

Marian Keyes

The author on her pre-approved Christmas, true love's parking implications and living in the moment
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef creates an Italian-inspired fish feast for Christmas Eve

Bill Granger's Christmas Eve fish feast

Bill's Italian friends introduced him to the Roman Catholic custom of a lavish fish supper on Christmas Eve. Here, he gives the tradition his own spin…
Liverpool vs Arsenal: Brendan Rodgers is fighting for his reputation

Rodgers fights for his reputation

Liverpool manager tries to stay on his feet despite waves of criticism
Amir Khan: 'The Taliban can threaten me but I must speak out... innocent kids, killed over nothing. It’s sick in the mind'

Amir Khan attacks the Taliban

'They can threaten me but I must speak out... innocent kids, killed over nothing. It’s sick in the mind'
Michael Calvin: Sepp Blatter is my man of the year in sport. Bring on 2015, quick

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Sepp Blatter is my man of the year in sport. Bring on 2015, quick