Archive for August, 2014

What is the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP)?

August 22nd, 2014 by Roger Darlington

“The Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) is a comprehensive free trade and investment treaty currently being negoti- ated – in secret – between the European Union and the USA. The inten- tion to launch TTIP negotiations was first announced by President Barack Obama in his State of the Union address in February 2013, and […]

Posted in World current affairs | Comments (0)

A review of “Guardians Of The Galaxy”

August 22nd, 2014 by Roger Darlington

The pitch for this movie to the studio heads must have sounded weird (“… and then there’s a tree that hardly talks and a wise-cracking racoon”) – but it works. You can read my review here.

Posted in Cultural issues | Comments (0)

Is the United States really a democratic nation?

August 21st, 2014 by Roger Darlington

I missed this at the time, but I have just come across an academic study published in April 2014. It is written by two academics from Princeton University and Northwestern University and looks at who most influences the making of policy in the American political system. You can access the full study here. It’s a […]

Posted in American current affairs | Comments (3)

Watch Stella Creasy MP trounce Austin Mitchell MP in a debate on the “feminisation of politics”

August 20th, 2014 by Roger Darlington

As I explained in this posting, when Austin Mitchell was first selected as a Parliamentary candidate for the Labour Party in 1977, I was the runner-up at the selection conference. I immediately forgave him: he was a local television personality who was more likely to win the forthcoming tough bye-election than me – and he did. […]

Posted in British current affairs | Comments (0)

10 theories on how uptalk originated

August 19th, 2014 by Roger Darlington

Uptalk – otherwise known as ‘queclarative’ –  is the habit of making statements sound like questions. I find it profoundly irritating. The BBC has offered 10 theories for the origin of uptalk. I blame No. 4.

Posted in Cultural issues | Comments (0)

Why the Internet giants need to do more to support public services

August 18th, 2014 by Roger Darlington

“There is nobody in this country who got rich on his own. Nobody. You built a factory out there? Good for you. But I want to be clear: you moved your goods to market on the roads the rest of us paid for. You hired workers the rest of us paid to educate. You were […]

Posted in Internet | Comments (0)

How many tenses are there in English?

August 17th, 2014 by Roger Darlington

As a native English speaker, I had no idea how many tenses there are in my language because I am just so familiar with it. So I was surprised this week when a colleague  of mine, who is trained as a teacher of English as a foreign language, told me that there are 13 tenses. […]

Posted in Cultural issues | Comments (0)

What are the most popular names for new babies in Britain?

August 16th, 2014 by Roger Darlington

According to the data compiled annually by the Office of National Statistics (ONS), the most popular names for children born in England & Wales during 2013 – published this week – were as follows: Position Boys Girls 1 Oliver Amelia 2 Jack Olivia 3 Harry Emily 4 Jacob Ava 5 Charlie Isla 6 Thomas Jessica […]

Posted in British current affairs, Cultural issues | Comments (2)

How worried should we be about the growing number of potholes on the Information Superhighway?

August 15th, 2014 by Roger Darlington

It’s amazing how well the Internet performs considering that so many different organisations supply the infrastructure and that so many different demands are made on the network and that so many individuals and companies all around the globe are using its services. But, on a typical day, outages normally affect 6,000 routes and, earlier this […]

Posted in Internet | Comments (0)

A listicle of the new words to enter the dictionary

August 14th, 2014 by Roger Darlington

How many of these new words have you come across?

Posted in Cultural issues | Comments (0)