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

The Stuff of Thought, By Steven Pinker

The difference between linguists and nonlinguists is as cavernous and as tricky to define as the difference between the verbs “pour” and “fill” that means you can “pour water into the glass” but not “pour the glass with water”.

Police identify criminals from texts

*Criminals who use text messages are being caught out by new techniques that can identify a person from the clues they leave in a message. Language scientists believe that it is possible to identify the author of a message by analysing the spelling, grammar and syntax of the words used.

The Stuff of Thought: Language as a window into human nature, By Steven Pinker

No doubt, as a reader of these pages, you have a sophisticated and keen appreciation for language; are sensitive to the appeal of an elegantly expressed thought and the ugliness of an ungrammatical sentence. You'll have noticed that the way a person uses language to frame their thoughts can tell us as much about the person as it does about their thoughts.

A Clockwork Apple, By Belinda Webb

When I first sees this book, I sphinx "What?" She's nicked Mr Burgess's idea, innit. But no, dear readerz, there is more to it dan dat, cause Alex is a GRRRL, and her argot is sans Slavonic influence but based on black urban vernacular wiv bitsa Latin, purloinings from Shakespeare and a few uvva daft coinages wot necessitate a paffetik glossary at the back.

Andrew Martin: 'Laters, bruv', and off they go in mummy's 4x4

A surprise big seller of the Christmas book market is The A-Z of Teen Talk. I showed my youngest son who will be a teenager himself in four months' time a selection of the words contained. He'd heard of some, disagreed over the definition of others: "Is this slang of the 1980s?" he sneered. "Is it, like, written by a 50-year-old man?"

An immovable obstacle to action on climate change

If you had to pick one company in America as the ultimate corporate villain, you might be hard pressed to find a better candidate than ExxonMobil. At a time of soaring petrol prices and growing public anger over the cost of filling up cars and trucks, ExxonMobil is not only making money hand over fist at an increasing rate - it is actually making more money than any other oil company in the world.

Why there's a growing demand for linguists

Undergraduates may be snubbing language courses, but there's a fluent future for those who don't, says Tim Walker

Miles Kington: How to say 'do not refreeze' in 11 languages

The word for 'salami' is the same in every language - except, oddly, in Italian

Miles Kington: Is football going to be the new cricket?

One thing is certain. Eriksson has revolutionised the way the British pronounce foreign names

The Unfolding Of Language, by Guy Deutscher

Where do our languages come from? Ask Mae West

Healing a skills shortage

The allied health professions are raising their profile to build a diverse workforce with much better prospects. Kate Hilpern reports

Midwinter, Soho Theatre, London

Word perfect

Voices
There will be a chance to bid for a rare example of the SAS Diary, collated by a former member of the regiment in the aftermath of World War II but only published – in a limited run of just 5,000 – in 2011
charity appealTime is running out to secure your favourite lot as our auction closes at 2pm tomorrow
Arts and Entertainment
James May, Jeremy Clarkson and Richard Hammond in the Top Gear Patagonia Special
tv
News
Claudia Winkleman and co-host Tess Daly at the Strictly Come Dancing final
people
Arts and Entertainment
Caroline Flack became the tenth winner of Strictly Come Dancing
tvReview: 'Absolutely phenomenal' Xtra Factor presenter wins Strictly Come Dancing final
News
Elton John and David Furnish will marry on 21 December 2014
people
Sport
SPORT
News
people
Life and Style
A still from the 1939 film version of Margaret Mitchell's 'Gone with the Wind'
life
Arts and Entertainment
J Jefferson Farjeon at home in 1953
booksBooksellers say readers are turning away from modern thrillers and back to golden age of crime writing
Sport
Amir Khan is engaged in a broader battle than attempting to win a fight with Floyd Mayweather
boxing Exclusive: Amir Khan reveals plans to travel to Pakistan
Career Services

Day In a Page

Independent Travel
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – Five-star MS Swiss Corona 7 nights from £999pp
Lake Como St Moritz & the Bernina Express 7 nights from £809pp
Vietnam
Lake Maggiore, Orta & the Matterhorn 7 nights from £939pp
South Africa
Spain
Prices correct as of 19 December 2014
The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

Sony suffered a chorus of disapproval after it withdrew 'The Interview', but it's not too late for it to take a stand, says Joan Smith
From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?

Panto dames: before and after

From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?
Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Booksellers say readers are turning away from dark modern thrillers and back to the golden age of crime writing
Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best,' says founder of JustGiving

Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best'

Ten million of us have used the JustGiving website to donate to good causes. Its co-founder says that being dynamic is as important as being kind
The botanist who hunts for giant trees at Kew Gardens

The man who hunts giants

A Kew Gardens botanist has found 25 new large tree species - and he's sure there are more out there
The 12 ways of Christmas: Spare a thought for those who will be working to keep others safe during the festive season

The 12 ways of Christmas

We speak to a dozen people who will be working to keep others safe, happy and healthy over the holidays
Birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends, new study shows

The male exhibits strange behaviour

A new study shows that birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends...
Diaries of Evelyn Waugh, Virginia Woolf and Noël Coward reveal how they coped with the December blues

Famous diaries: Christmas week in history

Noël Coward parties into the night, Alan Clark bemoans the cost of servants, Evelyn Waugh ponders his drinking…
From noble to narky, the fall of the open letter

From noble to narky, the fall of the open letter

The great tradition of St Paul and Zola reached its nadir with a hungry worker's rant to Russell Brand, says DJ Taylor
A Christmas ghost story by Alison Moore: A prodigal daughter has a breakthrough

A Christmas ghost story by Alison Moore

The story was published earlier this month in 'Poor Souls' Light: Seven Curious Tales'
Marian Keyes: The author on her pre-approved Christmas, true love's parking implications and living in the moment

Marian Keyes

The author on her pre-approved Christmas, true love's parking implications and living in the moment
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef creates an Italian-inspired fish feast for Christmas Eve

Bill Granger's Christmas Eve fish feast

Bill's Italian friends introduced him to the Roman Catholic custom of a lavish fish supper on Christmas Eve. Here, he gives the tradition his own spin…
Liverpool vs Arsenal: Brendan Rodgers is fighting for his reputation

Rodgers fights for his reputation

Liverpool manager tries to stay on his feet despite waves of criticism
Amir Khan: 'The Taliban can threaten me but I must speak out... innocent kids, killed over nothing. It’s sick in the mind'

Amir Khan attacks the Taliban

'They can threaten me but I must speak out... innocent kids, killed over nothing. It’s sick in the mind'
Michael Calvin: Sepp Blatter is my man of the year in sport. Bring on 2015, quick

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Sepp Blatter is my man of the year in sport. Bring on 2015, quick