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

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

Album: Frankmusik, Complete Me, (Island)

To be completely Frank, it's digital pop at its very best
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The saffron censorship that governs India: Why national pride and religious sentiment trump freedom of expression

The saffron censorship that governs India

Zareer Masani reveals why national pride and religious sentiment trump freedom of expression
Prince Charles' 'black spider' letters to be published 'within weeks'

Prince Charles' 'black spider' letters to be published 'within weeks'

Supreme Court rules Dominic Grieve's ministerial veto was invalid
Distressed Zayn Malik fans are cutting themselves - how did fandom get so dark?

How did fandom get so dark?

Grief over Zayn Malik's exit from One Direction seemed amusing until stories of mass 'cutting' emerged. Experts tell Gillian Orr the distress is real, and the girls need support
The galaxy collisions that shed light on unseen parallel Universe

The cosmic collisions that have shed light on unseen parallel Universe

Dark matter study gives scientists insight into mystery of space
The Swedes are adding a gender-neutral pronoun to their dictionary

Swedes introduce gender-neutral pronoun

Why, asks Simon Usborne, must English still struggle awkwardly with the likes of 's/he' and 'they'?
Disney's mega money-making formula: 'Human' remakes of cartoon classics are part of a lucrative, long-term creative plan

Disney's mega money-making formula

'Human' remakes of cartoon classics are part of a lucrative, long-term creative plan
Easter 2015: 14 best decorations

14 best Easter decorations

Get into the Easter spirit with our pick of accessories, ornaments and tableware
Paul Scholes column: Gareth Bale would be a perfect fit at Manchester United and could turn them into serious title contenders next season

Paul Scholes column

Gareth Bale would be a perfect fit at Manchester United and could turn them into serious title contenders next season
Inside the Kansas greenhouses where Monsanto is 'playing God' with the future of the planet

The future of GM

The greenhouses where Monsanto 'plays God' with the future of the planet
Britain's mild winters could be numbered: why global warming is leaving UK chillier

Britain's mild winters could be numbered

Gulf Stream is slowing down faster than ever, scientists say
Government gives £250,000 to Independent appeal

Government gives £250,000 to Independent appeal

Donation brings total raised by Homeless Veterans campaign to at least £1.25m
Oh dear, the most borrowed book at Bank of England library doesn't inspire confidence

The most borrowed book at Bank of England library? Oh dear

The book's fifth edition is used for Edexcel exams
Cowslips vs honeysuckle: The hunt for the UK’s favourite wildflower

Cowslips vs honeysuckle

It's the hunt for UK’s favourite wildflower
Child abuse scandal: Did a botched blackmail attempt by South African intelligence help Cyril Smith escape justice?

Did a botched blackmail attempt help Cyril Smith escape justice?

A fresh twist reveals the Liberal MP was targeted by the notorious South African intelligence agency Boss
Tony Blair joins a strange and exclusive club of political leaders whose careers have been blighted by the Middle East

Blair has joined a strange and exclusive club

A new tomb has just gone up in the Middle East's graveyard of US and British political reputations, says Patrick Cockburn