Written language

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Oldest known sentence written in first alphabet discovered – on a head-lice comb
Timeless fret over hygiene picked out on engraved Bronze age comb from ancient kingdom of Judah

Ian Sample Science editor

09, Nov, 2022 @4:00 AM

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Want to land that job interview? Here are 10 spellings you need to get right
Experienced, successful, professional … according to a study of thousands of CVs, these are just some of the words that candidates struggle to spell. And recruiters hate it

23, Aug, 2022 @1:51 PM

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Stories draw us to the hero’s journey, but individual empathy doesn’t help us see the bigger picture | Bri Lee
Traditional western storytelling conventions aren’t up to the task of understanding the enormity of the climate crisis or the pandemic

Bri Lee

20, Aug, 2022 @8:00 PM

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How swearing became a weapon of resistance for Ukrainians
Their enthusiastic use of bad language contrasts with Putin’s linguistic prissiness – and shows that Russia doesn’t own Russian

Jamie Rann

13, Apr, 2022 @8:49 AM

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In our war of words, full stops are dying but the exclamation mark is doing fine | Simon Horobin
Punctuation has always been controversial, but right now, amid fierce political debate, matters seem especially polarised, says professor of English Simon Horobin

Simon Horobin

28, Dec, 2021 @10:00 AM

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Pandemic, lockdown and Megxit: the most influential words of 2020
As dictionaries present their words of the year, we pick 10 terms that defined the past 12 months

David Shariatmadari

26, Nov, 2020 @11:30 AM

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How the internet is changing language as we know it (ikr lol)
Arch, misspelled, often punctuation-free: writing online has become a distinct genre. But behind the studied carelessness is real linguistic innovation

Richard Godwin

11, Oct, 2019 @1:00 PM

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Greek to Me by Mary Norris review – 'WTF, Socrates?'
A love letter to Greece and its language is full of delightful facts and brims with nerdish, bookish joy

Charlotte Higgins

14, Jun, 2019 @8:00 AM

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Dreyer’s English by Benjamin Dreyer review – how to write clearly and stylishly
This jaunty set of rules for good writing has become a bestseller in the US. But is it always right?

Steven Poole

30, May, 2019 @11:00 AM

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Th*nks for asterisks: the maligned punctuation enjoying Twitter revival
They can sometimes draw attention to what they aim to conceal, but they have found useful new life on social media as a marker of disdain

Terena Bell

02, Nov, 2018 @3:30 PM

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Have You Eaten Grandma? by Gyles Brandreth review – good grammar, with jokes
The former Conservative MP has written an entertaining guide to how to write properly, with an anecdote about the Queen’s loo breaks thrown in

Steven Poole

10, Oct, 2018 @9:00 AM

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We need new words to explain these curious times. How about ‘coffused’ or ‘procrastinetflix’? | Arwa Mahdawi
Troubled by conflicting advice over how much coffee to drink, or putting off a deadline with a quick Stranger Things binge? Don’t worry I’ve got the neologisms for you. And plenty more where those came from

Arwa Mahdawi

26, Nov, 2017 @3:00 PM

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