Even at the height of the Victorian era, when a quarter of the globe was painted red we were bemoaning our “national decline.” Then it might have taken the form of too many Irish navvies, the poor drinking excessively, the theory of evolution and scientific progress undermining the moral fabric of society, slum over-crowding, disease [...]
I subscribe to the Word a Day e-mail service, where the nice people at Wordsmith.org send me a word a day, often following a weekly theme, with a guide to pronunciation, a definition and most interestingly the etymology. Last Thursday’s word was an emotion I’m definitely feeling this evening.
Schadenfreude PRONUNCIATION: (SHAAD-n-froi-duh) MEANING: noun: Pleasure [...]
International reaction is positive to the news of Chris Huhne’s impending imprisonment.
This poem also applies: William Congreve, in The Mourning Bride, 1697:
As you’ll answer it, take heed This Slave commit no Violence upon Himself. I’ve been deceiv’d. The Publick Safety Requires he should be more confin’d; and none, No not the Princes [...]
This chap is Tim Farron MP, the current Liberal Democrat party president.
He’s an obscure professional politician but he has ticks in the following boxes, as he’s an:
MP An EU loving Liberal Democrat Ginger Christian Called Tim
Any one of those would see him deserving a quiet slap but join them together and [...]
The 2011 census includes many fascinating statistics, doubtless troubling to many. I did however find this one very encouraging.
The number of those who said they had no religious affiliation increased by 10 percentage points from 15% (7.7 million) in 2001 to 25% (14.1 million) in 2011.
That statistic should be quoted back every time [...]
Lord McAlpine – what a greedy Tory!
a) that what happened to him was totally unjustified. b) that Newsnight and the BBC management dropped a massive bollock in not checking the facts. c) everyone is responsible for whatever they say on a public on-line social media outlet.
But… true character will out….
I’ve begun reading Museum Without Walls, the latest book from national treasure, Jonathan Meades. I’ve not even completed the first chapter but I’ve been entranced, again, by his vocabulary, wit and wisdom. Some quotes will hopefully elucidate my enjoyment.
While discussing taxonomy and football:
A buzzard is an avian analogue of the even squeakier David [...]
Despite having windbag tendencies, he’s a thousand times better than Mitt Romney. This sums it up.