More from life

Your problems solved | 15 November 2003

Dear Mary… Q. While at a party at which I knew only the host, I made the mistake of trying to enter a group by laughing at a joke that I had not heard. Although rather silly, this would have been fine had the man standing next to me not asked what the joke was,

Mind your language

Mind your language | 15 November 2003

A Kentish man, Mr Spencer Jones, sends me a photograph of a street named ‘The Forstal’. It is a cul-de-sac, or dead end, as we say in Oxfordshire. Why, asks Mr Jones, is this perfectly ordinary word not in the 20-volume Oxford English Dictionary? The answer would be that it is dialect. There are lots