News Isabella Sorley, 23, and John Nimmo, 25, arrive at Westminster Magistrates Court, London

Two people have pleaded guilty to sending "menacing" tweets to a feminist campaigner following her successful campaign to ensure a woman features on British banknotes.

WORDS: Around

A SUSSEX gardener had a nasty experience the other day when the lawn he was mowing developed a gaping hole into which he fell, losing consciousness. "When I came to," he said, "the mower was balanced on the hole above my head and I could see the blades still going around." At least that was how he was reported in the Times, and I'm sure there was no cause to doubt it, except that I wonder whether he could really have said that the blades were "going around". (The Daily Telegraph said simply that they were "still whirring".) Some of us down in Sussex tend to prefer the shorter form - "going round" - when we want to talk about things like rotating lawnmower blades.

Words: quiz, n. and v.

ONLY NOW that I set a weekly quiz in this newspaper's magazine did I wonder about the exact origins of the word. (That way lies madness should any of us linger over every such word in a day.) A reasonable suppostion is that it is Latin. In fact, only indirectly: it is mid-19th-century American, first used by William James with a certain disdain in 1867: it yokes question and inquisitive, and also echoes the dialect quies, but is distinct from the earlier quiz, an eccentric person. It had also been used by Jane Austen of an odd- looking thing.

Wednesday Book: The art of the estate

HUMPHRY REPTON: LANDSCAPE GARDENING AND THE GEOGRAPHY OF GEORGIAN ENGLAND BY STEPHEN DANIELS, YALE UNIVERSITY PRESS, pounds 40

The novel pleasure of a first line

A work can recover from a duff opening, but a duff ending echoes in the mind like a cracked bell

The enigma of our national pin-ups

I'd like a really offensive depiction of the Battle of Waterloo on our last banknotes before the euro

Country: Country Matters - All set for a role in the hay

O pera in a barn? Cosi Fan Tutte in a cowshed? Why not? If you love music, have money and also enjoy baiting the local planning authority, why not convert your outhouse into an opera house?

Digital, Cable and Satellite Television; Pick of the Day

DIRECTOR DAVID FINCHER'S speciality is stylish thrillers with a distinctly nasty edge, such as Seven. In The Game (10pm Sky Premier), Michael Douglas (right) is well-cast as a smooth multi- millionaire whose well-ordered existence is threatened when his brother (Sean Penn) signs him up for a mysterious "game" for his birthday. The most intriguing aspect of this satellite premiere is trying to work out whether it is a game or not.

It was 35 years ago today: Nihilism with a smile

This week in 1964, after nearly a decade of rejection, the 31- year-old Joe Orton finally got publicity for his craft, rather than his craftiness. (The year before, he and his lover Kenneth Halliwell had gained a few column inches - and six-month prison sentences - for defacing library books.)

William is no cause for panic

Another children's classic fell foul of the political correctness vigilantes last week. Just William, who will this summer be celebrated in an 80th anniversary edition, was criticised by the RSPCA for his occasional cruelty to animals (in one of the stories the nasty rotter paints a dog blue). The plaintiffs asked that the stories be revised; a foolish suggestion that could not have provoked more publicity if it had been engineered by the publisher's marketing department. It was greeted with an inevitable blast of outrage from those who assume that "political correctness" is just another word for "spoilsport". Hostile critics claimed that the RSPCA was seeking to turn dear old William into - dread term - a goody-goody.

A good idea from ... James Joyce

WHEN WE ask someone what they are thinking about, unless they reply with the standard (and, for the paranoid, devastating) "nothing", they will usually sum up the contents of their minds in one or two succinct sentences: "Just thinking about the garden," or "What we should do about John." Novelists have traditionally followed suit, offering us intelligible reports of the inner lives of their characters. In Middlemarch, George Eliot explains that Dorothea, the first time she meets her dusty future husband "said to herself that Casaubon was the most interesting man she had ever seen". Jane Austen tells us of Emma: "She was quite convinced of Mr Elton's being in the fairest way of falling in love, if not in love already."

Boys to study ripping yarns

BOYS SHOULD read adventure stories such as Treasure Island and Kidnapped rather than romantic literature by Jane Austen and the Bronte sisters, the Government said yesterday.

WORDS; Genteel

POOR JOHN Prescott had a bad half-hour in the House last week when he got his papers mixed as well as his syntax and gave the sketch- writers something to laugh at. Of course I read all their accounts, while feeling rather mean about it - the polite thing to do when someone makes a fool of himself in a public place is to look the other way.

Theatre: The right sort of melodrama

"THERE'S SOMETHING going on that's worth peeping into," remarks wicked Mr Corrigan. You can say that again, and it's not just the plot. Connall Morrison's big-hearted Abbey Theatre production of Dion Boucicault's 1860 comedy simply glows.

Books: Religion of a novel kind

Can literature replace faith in a secular age? Michael Schmidt dissents from a critic's sermon; The Broken Estate: essays on literature and belief by James Wood Jonathan Cape, pounds 16.99, 384pp

Who needs critics?

They are despised by artists (`Professional eunuchs') and distrusted by the public (`Why are they always so negative?'). To launch a major series on the Critical Condition, we begin, as they so often do, with a question ...
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Day In a Page

Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – MS Swiss Corona - seven nights from £999pp
Lake Maggiore, Orta and the Matterhorn – seven nights from £899pp
Sicily – seven nights from £939pp
Pompeii, Capri and the Bay of Naples - seven nights from £799pp
Istanbul Ephesus & Troy – six nights from £859pp
Mary Rose – two nights from £319pp
Backhanders, bribery and abuses of power have soared in China as economy surges

Bribery and abuses of power soar in China

The bribery is fuelled by the surge in China's economy but the rules of corruption are subtle and unspoken, finds Evan Osnos, as he learns the dark arts from a master
Commonwealth Games 2014: Highland terriers stole the show at the opening ceremony

Highland terriers steal the show at opening ceremony

Gillian Orr explores why a dog loved by film stars and presidents is finally having its day
German art world rocked as artists use renowned fat sculpture to distil schnapps

Brewing the fat from artwork angers widow of sculptor

Part of Joseph Beuys' 1982 sculpture 'Fettecke' used to distil schnapps
BBC's The Secret History of Our Streets reveals a fascinating window into Britain's past

BBC takes viewers back down memory lane

The Secret History of Our Streets, which returns with three films looking at Scottish streets, is the inverse of Benefits Street - delivering warmth instead of cynicism
Joe, film review: Nicolas Cage delivers an astonishing performance in low budget drama

Nicolas Cage shines in low-budget drama Joe

Cage plays an ex-con in David Gordon Green's independent drama, which has been adapted from a novel by Larry Brown
How to make your own gourmet ice lollies, granitas, slushy cocktails and frozen yoghurt

Make your own ice lollies and frozen yoghurt

Think outside the cool box for this summer's tempting frozen treats
Ford Fiesta is UK's most popular car of all-time, with sales topping 4.1 million since 1976

Fiesta is UK's most popular car of all-time

Sales have topped 4.1 million since 1976. To celebrate this milestone, four Independent writers recall their Fiestas with pride
10 best reed diffusers

Heaven scent: 10 best reed diffusers

Keep your rooms smelling summery and fresh with one of these subtle but distinctive home fragrances that’ll last you months
Commonwealth Games 2014: Female boxers set to compete for first time

Female boxers set to compete at Commonwealth Games for first time

There’s no favourites and with no headguards anything could happen
Five things we’ve learned so far about Manchester United under Louis van Gaal

Five things we’ve learned so far about United under Van Gaal

It’s impossible to avoid the impression that the Dutch manager is playing to the gallery a little
Screwing your way to the top? Good for Lana Del Rey for helping kill that myth

Screwing your way to the top?

Good for Lana Del Rey for helping kill that myth, says Grace Dent
Will the young Britons fighting in Syria be allowed to return home and resume their lives?

Will Britons fighting in Syria be able to resume their lives?

Tony Blair's Terrorism Act 2006 has made it an offence to take part in military action abroad with a "political, ideological, religious or racial motive"
Beyoncé poses as Rosie the Riveter, the wartime poster girl who became a feminist pin-up

Beyoncé poses as Rosie the Riveter

The wartime poster girl became the ultimate American symbol of female empowerment
The quest to find the perfect pair of earphones: Are custom, 3D printed earbuds the solution?

The quest to find the perfect pair of earphones

Earphones don't fit properly, offer mediocre audio quality and can even be painful. So the quest to design the perfect pair is music to Seth Stevenson's ears
US Army's shooting star: Lt-Col Steven Cole is the man Hollywood calls when it wants to borrow a tank or check a military uniform

Meet the US Army's shooting star

Lt-Col Steven Cole is the man Hollywood calls when it wants to borrow a tank or check a military uniform