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Hamilton and Heep: how humbling?

Lewis Hamilton won his third Formula 1 title this week, elevating him to the same rarefied level as Jackie Stewart, Niki Lauda… and a certain Brazilian driver who obviously means a lot to Lewis, for it prompted the new champ to say, “It is a very humbling experience to equal Ayrton Senna, who inspired me

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Philosophical insights from the builders

he neighbours are having an extension built over the summer, and as a result our back garden is being treated to a high-decibel stream of bubblegum pop from the last 40 years, constantly punctuated with “sponsor messages”. Thanks, guys! Aren’t there any builders out there who like classical music or Cole Porter? Or, failing that,

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Continental comestible confusion

When you’re offered a “continental breakfast”, what do you think of? One online definition gives “a hotel breakfast that may include sliced bread with butter/jam/honey, cheese, meat, croissants, pastries, rolls, fruit juice and various hot beverages.” From personal experience, I’d say you’d be lucky to get as much as that – a cynic on a

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Impacts and effects: an affecting tale

So Michael Gove has apparently been using his new position as Justice Secretary to dash off memos to civil servants about the use of English, has he? The BBC has chosen to comment in particular on his exhortation to avoid the use of “impact” as a verb; for example, “But how will these policies impact

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Wampanoag – back from the grave

A few weeks ago, I promised you a story about a language that rose from the dead. Well, our linguistic Lazarus is in fact the indigenous American tongue of Wampanoag, also known by such other names as Wôpanâak and “Massachusett language”. And yes, there’s a clue in the latter moniker – it was once the

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