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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Tuesday 25 June 2013
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.
Monday 24 June 2013
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.
Sunday 09 June 2013
Bolger colt 6-1 to atone for Dawn Approach's Epsom eclipse in Irish Derby after stylish win
Monday 03 June 2013
Prix du Jockey-Club winner can rival Derby victor as Dettori suffers disappointing day
Saturday 18 May 2013
Heavy support during the week suggests a new officer is ready for promotion to the elite corps at Ballydoyle.
Thursday 16 May 2013
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.
Sunday 12 May 2013
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
Sunday 28 April 2013
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
Sunday 28 April 2013
Clarke also agreed with David Cameron's view that the party contained 'fruitcakes and closet racists'
Monday 15 April 2013
Her champions say the former PM promoted individual freedom. But her record shows precious little proof of this
Thursday 11 April 2013
The arrest of Rabbi Susan Silverman attracted unexpected attention when her famous sister - the comedian Sarah Silverman - tweeted about it
Thursday 14 March 2013
Theresa May has achieved the rare feat of exciting even more interest by her absences than by her presence, like Greta Garbo.
Friday 08 February 2013
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
Thursday 31 January 2013
One in four British men and women are obese - and we're all paying for it
Sunday 20 January 2013
Climate change: 2015 will be the hottest year on record 'by a mile', experts say
Senior British politicians tell David Cameron: When dead children are being washed up on beaches – it's time to act
Jeremy Corbyn calls Osama bin Laden's killing a 'tragedy' - but was it taken out of context?
If these extraordinarily powerful images of a dead Syrian child washed up on a beach don't change Europe's attitude to refugees, what will?
If you're not already angry about the refugee crisis, here's a history lesson to remind you why you really should be
Theresa May says migrants should be banned from entering the UK unless they have jobs lined up
- 1 More than 11,000 Icelanders offer to house Syrian refugees to help European crisis
- 4 Make your voice heard: Sign The Independent's petition to welcome refugees
- 5 Refugee crisis: Aylan's life was full of fear - in death, he is part of 'humanity washed ashore'