The meaning of liberty

When anyone, knowing I lived on the east coast of America for several years, asks me for tips on what to do in New York, my first answer is always ‘go on the Staten Island ferry’. It’s free, it’s a taste of real New York life, and you get the view everyone wants of the […]

Feasts, hope and syncretism

Today is Candlemas. Candlemas is one of those holy-days that distinguishes the women from the girls, so to speak, when it comes to knowing the Church year. It falls forty days after Christmas and marks the presentation of Jesus at the temple and the official end of the Christmas/Epiphany season. Although many people in English-speaking […]

Reading Like A Writer

When planning to teach the Creative Writing A-level for the first time, I was pleased to see the emphasis placed on students reading. One of the units was actually called ‘From Reading to Writing’, and the in-depth commentaries students had to submit with their creative pieces required them to be able to make precise and […]

A Comprehensive Grammar Of the English Language by Randolph Quirk

Lord Quirk dies, but the English Language hasn’t!

Charles Randolph Quirk, Quain Professor of English Language and Literature at UCL, has died. He of the quirky name loved the English language and presided over surveys of its usage, wrote about its evolution from Anglo-Saxon times, and numerous grammars and tomes about its teaching. “Language is power and too much English teaching today is denying pupils […]