When Kingsley Amis needed a new insult, he reached for the taboo

25 November 2017 9:00 am

‘It’s up there on the shelf you can’t reach,’ said my husband in an unhelpfully helpful tone. The ‘it’ was…

What two little words that combine virtue signalling and denunciation?

18 November 2017 9:00 am

The inventor of the verse form known as the clerihew, Edmund Clerihew Bentley, had a way with this seemingly simple…

American-English has conquered the world

24 June 2017 9:00 am

‘There is room for a very interesting work,’ Gibbon observed in a footnote, ‘which should lay open the connection between…

Mind your language: Goof

27 May 2017 9:00 am

Susie Dent has been trying to make us love Americanisms on Radio 4. Now Miss Dent knows far more about…

How I learned to live with ‘meet with’

18 March 2017 9:00 am

Don’t tell my husband, but I have been having doubts. (He never reads this column, so our secret is safe.)…

The American way with ‘pick’ is over here to stay

4 March 2017 9:00 am

I have long pondered the motive with which Michael Wharton, for long the author of the Daily Telegraph’s Peter Simple…

I was wrong about ‘critique’. You may be too

8 October 2016 9:00 am

‘Americans,’ said my husband in much the same tone that Betsey Trotwood said ‘Donkeys’. It was his way of explaining…

Letters: The Assad option, and a pre-nup for Taki

25 July 2015 9:00 am

Don’t write off Assad Sir: Ahmed Rashid refers to our ‘Arab allies’ supporting al-Qaeda (‘The plan to back al-Qaeda against…

Letters: The problem is not trade unions, but their leaders

18 July 2015 9:00 am

Unions led astray Sir: Leo McKinstry’s article on the current problems in the trade unions (‘Counter-strike’, 11 July) brings back…

That annoying ‘likely’ is more old-fashioned than American

14 February 2015 9:00 am

What, asks Christian Major of Bromley, Kent, do I think of ‘this new, I assume American, fad for using the…

Is Boris Johnson standing for Parliament — or running for it?

16 August 2014 9:00 am

‘Boris Johnson broke cover yesterday to declare that he will run for parliament,’ the Times reported last week. The Mirror…

When did we stop ‘tossing’ coins?

29 March 2014 9:00 am

What kind of scientists do school inspectors not need to be? ‘Inspectors don’t need to be rocket scientists.’ For what…

From Cockney to Jafaican

23 March 2013 9:00 am

‘Jafaican’ is less irritating than fake American