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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.

Sugar Boy (left) wins the Sandown Classic Trial in April from Eye Of The Storm. The subsequent second and third in the Derby, Libertarian and Galileo Rock, were well beaten

Sheikh Mohammed sharpens Derby rivalry with Sugar buy

Family rivalry is all very well, but perhaps not if you blatantly upstage the head honcho. After Libertarian ran such a fine second in the Derby, he was headhunted by Sheikh Mohammed to run for his Godolphin operation and is second favourite for Saturday's Irish version of the Classic. Today, though, Mohammed's cousin and namesake (their respective fathers, Rashid and Khalifa, were brothers) recruited another of the fancied runners in the Curragh contest, Sugar Boy, to his own string.

Godolphin plan to rush Irish pace for Libertarian

Having seen Dawn Approach snared by a slow pace in the Derby, Godolphin seem determined to retain control of their own destiny with the colt they have since acquired out of the same race. Libertarian, who charged home for second as Dawn Approach was tailing off at Epsom, will run in Godolphin colours for the first time when making his final appearance for Elaine and Karl Burke in the Dubai Duty Free Irish Derby at the Curragh on Saturday. And he will be joined by Cap O'Rushes, upgraded from handicap company at Royal Ascot last week, as security against a lack of pace in his rematch with Ruler Of The World.

Trading Leather wins the Listed Silver Stakes at the Curragh yesterday

Leather throws down Curragh gauntlet

Bolger colt 6-1 to atone for Dawn Approach's Epsom eclipse in Irish Derby after stylish win

Ryan Moore on Ruler Of The World wins the Derby

Intello makes challenge for Ruler's crown

Prix du Jockey-Club winner can rival Derby victor as Dettori suffers disappointing day

Declaration of War makes his first Group One start today

Fencing can make mark in Lockinge

Heavy support during the week suggests a new officer is ready for promotion to the elite corps at Ballydoyle.

Libertarian was a surprise winner of the Dante for Elaine Burke

Libertarian frees up Derby odds with Yorkshire win

He would not have the class, surely, or the speed. He isn't even the right shape. But the sudden squall of hail prompted by his success here suggested that Libertarian, if nothing else, will introduce due grit to the British Turf's greatest race. For his shock success in the trial that honours the North's last winner – now 68 years ago – plainly qualified this big, dour brute as a fitting ambassador for Yorkshire in the Investec Derby a fortnight tomorrow.

Oz: Offers no easy answers to the questions he raises

Review: Between Friends, By Amos Oz (Trs Sondra Silverston)

Amos Oz uses beautiful prose to build an evocative portrait – the hopes, dreams, successes and failures – of life on an Israeli kibbutz in the Fifties

An issue of the feminist magazine Spare Rib. The writer Charlotte Raven has announced plans to resurrect the magazine

Feminist magazine Spare Rib returns – but will it have meat?

In yet another cheering sign that feminism’s third wave is gathering pace, the writer Charlotte Raven has announced plans to resurrect the dusty corpse of the radical feminist magazine Spare Rib.

Ken Clarke calls Ukip 'a collection of clowns' and claims some of the party's supporters are racist and wouldn't vote Tory

Clarke also agreed with David Cameron's view that the party contained 'fruitcakes and closet racists'

Margaret Thatcher with new council-house owners

Was Margaret Thatcher a liberal?

Her champions say the former PM promoted individual freedom. But her record shows precious little proof of this

Police arrest Rabbi Susan Silverman and her daughter Hallel Abramowitz in February

The women whose prayers anger Israel’s ultra-Orthodox community

The arrest of Rabbi Susan Silverman attracted unexpected attention when her famous sister - the comedian Sarah Silverman - tweeted about it

The Sketch: Alcoshambles! And how Theresa May overruled herself on minimum pricing

Theresa May has achieved the rare feat of exciting even more interest by her absences than by her presence, like Greta Garbo.

Bill to force students to read Ayn Rand's novel Atlas Shrugged

A Republican state senator has introduced legislation that would require high school students to read Ayn Rand’s 1957 novel, Atlas Shrugged, before graduating.

Crazy in love with fizzy drinks: Why sugar tax (or a burping Beyoncé) is needed to break the addiction

One in four British men and women are obese - and we're all paying for it

Bang, bang – the liberal left is hit

What's a libertarian to think about screen violence? Plus, the outrageous treatment of Carlos Tevez, and Gemma Arterton's filthy roots
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