Archive for the 'English' Category
A week or so ago I heard the BBC’s political editor say that “We now have 27 leaders sat around a table…” This week I heard a BBC reporter say that “the two-year-old was sat watching television.” In John Lanchester’s novel Capital, I’ve just read the sentence “Shahid was stood at the sink with his [...]
I’ve just come back from browsing in Waterstone’s in Wimbledon, where copies of George Orwell’s essay Politics and the English Language were stacked beside the tills. It’s coming up to 110 years since Orwell was born as Eric Blair (June 25), and, because media organisations like round numbers, he and his works are being celebrated [...]
A writer should not expect a reader to join in the writing. Clive James, in his Telegraph television review slot this week, lamenting the sloppiness of modern scriptwriting.
The FT’s Weekend Magazine had an interview with the American writer Richard Ford. He said he didn’t review books because he didn’t trust his own judgement. He went on: Giving a book a bad review is like driving along the road and seeing a hitchhiker and deciding that instead of not picking him up you’ll [...]
There’s a lovely line on life as a train journey in a new book about happiness by the Irish writer Michael Foley. According to a review in The Observer yesterday, that journey isn’t aboard “a gleaming Orient Express… into exotic glamour, adventure and excitement”. Instead, we travel on “a rusty old English branch line, puffing [...]
The media, predictably, are full of pictures of the Queen’s handshake with Martin McGuinness. More surprising was the opening phrase of David McKittrick’s piece for the London Evening Standard last night, where a missing definite article suggested Her Majesty had been leading a weird double life all these years: “Today’s handshake between the monarch and [...]
Has the role of the aircraft sick bag in popular culture been unjustly neglected by academia? I returned this morning from the conference in Madeira of the Association of Independent Tour Operators. En route, I read an interview in El País with that great protest singer Pete Seeger, who talks of how Woody Guthrie, one [...]
I’ve spent the past few days thinking over questions to ask travel writers at a session at the Hay Festival. Pondering the future of travel writing made me think a bit more about the present. I’m often asked by younger freelance writers what sort of pieces we on Telegraph Travel are looking for. “Good ones” [...]
Comment may be free but decent editing isn’t, as a writer to The Economist last week reminded us. Chris Perry, of Instow, Devon, responding to a leading article about making academic publications free to all, wrote: “The management of the review process is no doubt imperfect—poor papers get published, good papers get rejected—but the frequency [...]
A couple of years ago, Ali Smith wrote a novel with the intriguing title There but for the. It turned out to be a book about the absence of grace. The “the” (and thus a lot of grace) has been missing from the prose of quite a few books I’ve read recently. “An” has been [...]
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"Congolese playing Mexican music to lure Uruguayan soldiers into spending American dollars": that's Goma, in the DRC http://t.co/hJDbykvP40
I just posted Leopards in India – on the streets of Mumbai. Read it here: http://t.co/si1sbgQ52q