The Australian author of this lively collection of essays about language is an amiable guide to his subject. "Amiable" is, however, a stiff adjective to use when describing Julian Burnside, QC, who praises HW Fowler, author of A Dictionary of Modern English Usage (1926), and Samuel Johnson for allowing their personalities to colour their writings about words. He mocks philologists for their dryness, dismisses "cherished superstitions" that remain popular with conservative querulists and describes an attempt to ban the use of "mate" from the Australian parliament in appropriately matey style.
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Inventing the Individual by Larry Siedentop, book review: An engrossing book of ideas that redefines liberalism as a 'child of Christianity'
Friday 24 January 2014
Towards the end of this illuminating book, Larry Siedentop describes a fourteenth century battle between two Christian monastic orders. The Dominicans and the Franciscans were mendicant orders, begging monks who had abandoned the comforts of the cloisters to preach among the poor.
France's Marine Le Pen wants her far-right party to join forces with Ukip and destroy 'European Soviet Union'
Thursday 09 January 2014
But Ukip leader Nigel Farage says the suggestion of an alliance was a non-starter
Friday 15 November 2013
Could this be the moment when China demonstrates its ability to shake off bad old habits and embrace new ways?
Thursday 07 November 2013
Anonymous services such as Tor and Bitcoin are being used once more to hide the identity of the site's customers, with 'extra security' promised
Tuesday 01 October 2013
Progress Party in government for first time since 1973 in Conservative coalition
Friday 20 September 2013
The 'Liberator' 3D printed-gun has caused a furore in the press, but it's less dangerous than home-made pistols made from a metal pipe and nail
Saturday 14 September 2013
Jockey O’Brien rides the perfect race to bring his father a fourth St Leger triumph – a year late
Friday 13 September 2013
Trainer seeks fourth winner in the Classic in seven years but Talent could upset favourite
Wednesday 11 September 2013
This week the TV naturalist sounded a population warning, announcing "Things are going to get worse" if we have large families
Monday 09 September 2013
Godolphin’s racing manager Simon Crisford has offered Cap O’Rushes as the best-value option of the trio bidding to land his team a sixth St Leger at Doncaster on Saturday.
Sunday 14 July 2013
You can log-off any time you like, but can you ever leave?
Thursday 11 July 2013
Oh no, what now?
Sunday 30 June 2013
After a Derby nightmare for Jim Bolger, a Derby dream. Last night at the Curragh, the 6-1 chance Trading Leather put to bed the memory of his stablemate Dawn Approach’s awful last place at Epsom with a convincing victory in Ireland’s premier Classic.
Saturday 29 June 2013
No less than any other walk of life, it is pretty rare in racing for anyone to profess indignation when credited with a stroke of genius. Such was the case at Epsom last month, however, when Aidan O’Brien and his patrons at Coolmore maintained a scrupulous show of bemusement about a theory that their horses had collectively undermined the prospects of the hot favourite, Dawn Approach, by setting an unexpectedly slow pace in the Investec Derby.
Thursday 27 June 2013
Unbeaten as he is, for now the Derby winner is arguably not even the most accomplished thoroughbred who happens to have an engagement on Saturday. For a few hours after Ruler Of The World attempts to extend his Epsom supremacy on to home soil, in the Dubai Duty Free Irish Derby, an outstanding American champion sets a fresh challenge to such parochial perspectives as may have been re-inforced by the failure of Animal Kingdom at Royal Ascot last week.
'We would evict Queen from Buckingham Palace and allocate her council house,' say Greens
French court convicts three over homophobic tweets, in case hailed as a 'significant victory' by LGBT rights campaigners
Greece elections: Syriza and EU on collision course after election win for left-wing party
British Muslim school children suffering a backlash of abuse following Paris attacks
Islamic history is full of free thinkers - but recent attempts to suppress critical thought are verging on the absurd
30,000 reasons why the rhetoric on immigrants claiming benefits can stop now
- 3 The enemy within: People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back
- 4 British grandmother Lindsay Sandiford faces execution by firing squad in Indonesia