Arts and Entertainment

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.

One survey gives Newt Gingrich a one point advantage over Mitt Romney in the Mississippi primary

Gingrich on the brink, with Romney poised to pull away in Deep South

In one of the closest fought Republican primaries to date, the polls can't split the main candidates

The Recruiting Officer, Donmar Warehouse, London
The Taming of the Shrew, Royal Shakespeare Theatre, Stratford-Upon-Avon
A Midsummer Night's Dream, Lyric Hammersmith, London

Two very funny Shakespeares and an 18th-century romp join the wave of comedies rolling across the British stage

Romney strolls to victory in Florida primary

Advertising campaign attacking Gingrich pays off for Republican frontrunner

Matthew Norman: Obama has nothing to fear from this freakshow

The GOP is putting on a Tea Party-backed, smash hit revival of 'One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest'

The Art of Fielding, By Chad Harbach

It's a very good swing, just not quite knocked out of the park

Mitt Romney celebrates with his wife Ann and sons after winning by just an eight-point margin

Santorum's surge makes it a hollow victory for Romney

Frontrunner wins by just eight votes, while Michele Bachmann quits race after dismal showing

Mitt Romney leads Iowa by less than a nose

Mitt Romney was clinging to a perilously thin lead yesterday in Iowa, which kicks off the Republican nominating process with caucus voting tomorrow, but possibly only by virtue of the conservatives in the state dividing over which of his rivals they would rather see challenge President Barack Obama.

Enter stage right: now Ron Paul takes the lead

As Romney falters, the latest frontrunner in the Republican nomination saga is the most extreme
Nick Clegg: The deputy PM's name probably received a spike of search queries last April in wake of the first televised pre-general election debates

Nick Clegg pledges Lords reform

Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg today reaffirmed his determination to press ahead with reform of the House of Lords over the coming year.

Twosome: Martine and Louise Fokkens, stars of a new documentary

Siblings who put the sex in 'sexagenarian'

A documentary about two 69-year-old sisters has scandalised Holland. It's because they're prostitutes, says Geoffrey Macnab

Falling Sideways, By Thomas E Kennedy

White-collar workers bemoan the constraints of corporate life, but find solace in its abstract rhythms. When Freud speculated about the death drive, he argued that repetitive actions mask the desire to return to an inanimate state. Perhaps this explains our attachment to office routine – except that the inactivity of compulsory redundancy makes employees recoil in alarm.

Lars von Trier complained that Charlotte Gainsbourg's tears were 'not real' in his recent film Melancholia, according to the actress

DJ Taylor: Sixties liberalism is back, and fighting fit

The old buzz phrases 'moral responsibility' and 'personal duty' are being revived by the Occupy protesters

Letter from the editor: The joys of a full English breakfast

It remains difficult to write about anything but the riots, which may be the result of my being away while they were taking place — but at least it saves you from my holiday stories.

Leading article: Liberalism has improved Britain – its defenders must speak up

When David Cameron spoke of "pockets of our society that are not only broken, but frankly sick", in his first response to the recent rioting, he was saying no more than would have been expected from a Conservative prime minister in such circumstances.

Howard Jacobson: They may be criminals, but we're the ones who have created them

That form of looting known as corporate larceny continues to rage unchecked

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As in 1942, Germany must show restraint over Greece

As in 1942, Germany must show restraint over Greece

Mussolini tried to warn his ally of the danger of bringing the country to its knees. So should we, says Patrick Cockburn
Britain's widening poverty gap should be causing outrage at the start of the election campaign

The short stroll that should be our walk of shame

Courting the global elite has failed to benefit Britain, as the vast disparity in wealth on display in the capital shows
Homeless Veterans appeal: The rise of the working poor: when having a job cannot prevent poverty

Homeless Veterans appeal

The rise of the working poor: when having a job cannot prevent poverty
Prince Charles the saviour of the nation? A new book highlights concerns about how political he will be when he eventually becomes king

Prince Charles the saviour of the nation?

A new book highlights concerns about how political he will be when he eventually becomes king
How books can defeat Isis: Patrick Cockburn was able to update his agenda-setting 'The Rise of Islamic State' while under attack in Baghdad

How books can defeat Isis

Patrick Cockburn was able to update his agenda-setting 'The Rise of Islamic State' while under attack in Baghdad
Judith Hackitt: The myths of elf 'n' safety

Judith Hackitt: The myths of elf 'n' safety

She may be in charge of minimising our risks of injury, but the chair of the Health and Safety Executive still wants children to be able to hurt themselves
The open loathing between Barack Obama and Benjamin Netanyahu just got worse

The open loathing between Obama and Netanyahu just got worse

The Israeli PM's relationship with the Obama has always been chilly, but going over the President's head on Iran will do him no favours, says Rupert Cornwell
French chefs get 'le huff' as nation slips down global cuisine rankings

French chefs get 'le huff' as nation slips down global cuisine rankings

Fury at British best restaurants survey sees French magazine produce a rival list
Star choreographer Matthew Bourne gives young carers a chance to perform at Sadler's Wells

Young carers to make dance debut

What happened when superstar choreographer Matthew Bourne encouraged 27 teenage carers to think about themselves for once?
Design Council's 70th anniversary: Four of the most intriguing prototypes from Ones to Watch

Design Council's 70th anniversary

Four of the most intriguing prototypes from Ones to Watch
Dame Harriet Walter: The actress on learning what it is to age, plastic surgery, and her unease at being honoured by the establishment

Dame Harriet Walter interview

The actress on learning what it is to age, plastic surgery, and her unease at being honoured by the establishment
Art should not be a slave to the ideas driving it

Art should not be a slave to the ideas driving it

Critics of Tom Stoppard's new play seem to agree that cerebral can never trump character, says DJ Taylor
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef's winter salads will make you feel energised through February

Bill Granger's winter salads

Salads aren't just a bit on the side, says our chef - their crunch, colour and natural goodness are perfect for a midwinter pick-me-up
England vs Wales: Cool head George Ford ready to put out dragon fire

George Ford: Cool head ready to put out dragon fire

No 10’s calmness under pressure will be key for England in Cardiff
Michael Calvin: Time for Old Firm to put aside bigotry and forge new links

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Time for Old Firm to put aside bigotry and forge new links