How words get into the Oxford English Dictionary

I have seen the word "linguaphile" (meaning word lover or language lover) on Dictionary.com and the Free Dictionary, but it's not there in the Oxford English Dictionary. It no longer tries to be comprehensive. "The language is expanding so fast this may be an impossible mission," said Edmund Weiner, deputy chief editor of the Oxford […]

Amit Chaudhuri, The Immortals

It's been a long time coming. Except that Amit Chaudhuri wouldn't have used those words sung by Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young. The gifted Indian writer,who teaches contemporary literature at the University of East Anglia, prefers Indian classical music. An accomplished singer himself, he pays homage to the music in The Immortals. Now don't  let […]

Updike, the most sensuous writer in English

The most sensuous writer in the English language is dead. No one wrote more sensuous prose than John Updike. He carried his lyricism into his 70s. He was 76 when he died yesterday. The cause was lung cancer, according to his publisher, Alfred A Knopf. He was – for his style and views perhaps – […]

A handy guide against howlers

What The Straits Times needs is a language guide like Bill Walsh. Singapore’s main newspaper is prone to the kind of howlers Walsh is paid to prevent. Walsh is the Washington Post’s copy desk chief for national news. He has to edit the news, correct mistakes, trim the fat and polish the copy. He enjoys […]