It’s Just a Few Bad Apples

Welcome to another of my occasional rants about the use and misuse of the English language. Previous entries have included people who talk about their bandwidth and the irritating habit of writing “See what I did there?” after a pun.…
climate change

How Can We Talk About Climate Change? How Can We Not?

Climate change has become such a clear, species-threatening emergency that sometimes it feels strange to talk or write about anything else. Yes, I know, Covid-19. But a pandemic, although immensely destructive, will end eventually. In the longer term, climate change…
Johannesburg

Cultural Time Zones and the Global City

What is a cultural time zone? Think of tennis, says Melissa Tandiwe Myambo in a fascinating essay in New Left Review. On the international tennis circuit, all the courts and facilities must meet certain standards, with only minor local variations.…
Greece tattered flag

Greece as Europe’s Borderland

Greece seems to be synonymous with “crisis” these days. The debt crisis, the migrant crisis, or just the “Greek crisis”, as if the whole country is in a permanent state of crisis. Interestingly, the very word “crisis” is of Greek…
Children's illustration

Representation Matters

Diversity in children’s books is a real problem. Here are a couple of statistics for you, courtesy of The Bookseller: 32.1% of pupils of compulsory school age in England are of minority ethnic origins. Only 4% of all the children’s…