News Grammar campaigners in Cambridge have been adding apostrophes to street signs after Cambridge City Council stopped using them.

The Good Grammar leader warned that now apostrophes are gone, commas could be next

Books: Grammar and the shark's fin

THE SYMBOLIC SPECIES: The Co-evolution of Language and the Human Brain by Terrence Deacon, Allen Lane pounds 20

Books: Word imperfect

Language is Power by John Honey Faber & Faber, pounds 8.99; Colin MacCabe attacks the sloppy Sixties liberalism that deprived the poorest children of a command of standard English, and calls for a modern way to teach grammar in our schools

Review: Aiming high, but falling short

THEATRE

Letter: Language is beyond grammar

Sir: Peter Brodie (Letters, 28 August) mentions "tarring and feathering is too good for him" as an example where we use a singular verb because "tarring and feathering" is seen as a singular subject. But what about this: "More than one person is present"? Here we have a subject that is explicitly plural, with a singular verb.

Letter: What teachers do

Sir: Mrs A Fuller (letter, 14 August) asks how it is possible to qualify as an English teacher without understanding English grammar. I share her dismay. I found English grammar an arduous ordeal until I was taught Latin. Maybe some knowledge of Latin should be a prerequisite for English teachers.

Letter: Young masters

Sir: The current phenomenon of youthful political leadership might more accurately be labelled "neontocracy" rather than engineer a dubious linguistic hybrid "juventocracy" (Letters, 21 June). Or better still, in deference to William Pitt jnr and other youthful precursors, "neo-neontocracy".

Awful charms of an imaginary Bedlam

The Dumb House by John Burnside, Cape, pounds 8.99; Roz Kaveney interprets a terrifying fable of western reason run amok

Foreign language a strong currency

The other day a newly qualified accountant found himself a new job on a salary of pounds 43,000 - even in these booming times for finance professionals a cut or two above the average. The reason? He is fluent in a foreign language.

Teachers to boycott grammar tests

English teachers have agreed to support a boycott of new, formal grammar tests for 14-year-old pupils. Members of the National Association for the Teaching of English have backed a boycott if the tests, to be piloted next month, become compulsory next year. They say that the new tests are not the best way to improve pupils' grammar.

Linguistics

Theories about the early formation of the rules of English grammar have been thrown into confusion by the discovery in an attic in Soho of an old manuscript bearing what are believed to be primitive song lyrics. The manuscript, which is thought to date from the early middle or late beginning of the 20th century, includes verb formations that have mystified grammarians.

Books: A couple of words about a life sentence

MONOGAMY by Adam Phillips, Faber pounds 8.99

Books: Paradise rediscovered

Peter Ackroyd's fictional account of Milton's flight to the New World crackles with wit. By Lucy Hughes-Hallett; Milton in America by Peter Ackroyd Sinclair-Stevenson, pounds 15.99

Letter: Translators in the courts

Sir: Your article of 8 May, "Lost in translation", rightly highlights the problems of communication across language and culture which may deny non-English speakers equal access to justice and social services. However, since the creation of the National Register of Public Service Interpreters in 1994, users and providers of public services are able to locate qualified and experienced interpreters who are specialised in local government, health care or police and court interpreting. Also, since 1994, colleges throughout the UK provide courses leading to the Diploma in Public Service Interpreting, which the Institute of Linguists awards.

Usage and abusage : RADIO

LORD REITH can stop turning in his grave, smooth down his legendary dinner-jacket and rest in peace for another year. The Reith Lectures (R4) are over and they weren't so bad after all. Fears that the Rupert Murdoch Professor of Language would storm the mighty citadel of proper English dissolved into nothing, empty and unfounded.
News
people
News
A survey carried out by Sainsbury's Finance found 20% of new university students have never washed their own clothes, while 14% cannot even boil an egg
science...and the results are not as pointless as that sounds
News
Dominique Alderweireld, also known as Dodo de Saumure, is the owner of a string of brothels in Belgium
newsPhilip Sweeney gets the inside track on France's trial of the year
News
Cumberbatch was speaking on US television when he made the comment (Getty)
people
Life and Style
tech
Arts and Entertainment
Tom DeLonge, Travis Barker and Mark Hoppus of Blink-182 pictured in 2011.
musicBassist Mark Hoppus and drummer Travis Barker say Tom Delonge is 'disrespectful and ungrateful'
Sport
football
Arts and Entertainment
Olivia Colman and David Tennant star in 'Broadchurch'
tvBroadchurch series 2, episode 4, review - contains spoilers
Sport
cyclingDisgraced cycling star says people will soon forgive his actions
News
Britain's Prince Philip attends a Garden Party at Buckingham Palace in London
people
Career Services

Day In a Page

Independent Travel
Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
Dubrovnik, the Dalmatian Coast & Montenegro
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence
Lisbon, Oporto and the Douro Valley
Lake Garda, Venice & Verona
Spain
Prices correct as of 23 January 2015
Woman who was sent to three Nazi death camps describes how she escaped the gas chamber

Auschwitz liberation 70th anniversary

Woman sent to three Nazi death camps describes surviving gas chamber
DSK, Dodo the Pimp, and the Carlton Hotel

The inside track on France's trial of the year

Dominique Strauss-Kahn, Dodo the Pimp, and the Carlton Hotel:
As provocative now as they ever were

Sarah Kane season

Why her plays are as provocative now as when they were written
Murder of Japanese hostage has grim echoes of a killing in Iraq 11 years ago

Murder of Japanese hostage has grim echoes of another killing

Japanese mood was against what was seen as irresponsible trips to a vicious war zone
Syria crisis: Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more refugees as one young mother tells of torture by Assad regime

Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more Syrian refugees

One young mother tells of torture by Assad regime
The enemy within: People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back – with promising results

The enemy within

People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back
'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

Survivors of the Nazi concentration camp remember its horror, 70 years on
Autumn/winter menswear 2015: The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore

Autumn/winter menswear 2015

The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore
'I'm gay, and plan to fight military homophobia'

'I'm gay, and plan to fight military homophobia'

Army general planning to come out
Iraq invasion 2003: The bloody warnings six wise men gave to Tony Blair as he prepared to launch poorly planned campaign

What the six wise men told Tony Blair

Months before the invasion of Iraq in 2003, experts sought to warn the PM about his plans. Here, four of them recall that day
25 years of The Independent on Sunday: The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century

25 years of The Independent on Sunday

The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century
Homeless Veterans appeal: 'Really caring is a dangerous emotion in this kind of work'

Homeless Veterans appeal

As head of The Soldiers' Charity, Martin Rutledge has to temper compassion with realism. He tells Chris Green how his Army career prepared him
Wu-Tang Clan and The Sexual Objects offer fans a chance to own the only copies of their latest albums

Smash hit go under the hammer

It's nice to pick up a new record once in a while, but the purchasers of two latest releases can go a step further - by buying the only copy
Geeks who rocked the world: Documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry

The geeks who rocked the world

A new documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry
Belle & Sebastian interview: Stuart Murdoch reveals how the band is taking a new direction

Belle & Sebastian is taking a new direction

Twenty years ago, Belle & Sebastian was a fey indie band from Glasgow. It still is – except today, as prime mover Stuart Murdoch admits, it has a global cult following, from Hollywood to South Korea