Category Archives: Language

The apostrophe’s malaise

Just what is it about the humble apostrophe or rather the ‘s that causes so many problems? In Carl Chairul’s otherwise sharply written piece for Sunday Post’s “By The Way” column we have, “…as soon as they receive their Volvo’s.” … Continue reading

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The origin of music and language

The Singing Neanderthals: The Origins of Music, Language, Mind and Body’ by Steven Mithen. pub. Phoenix, pp332 Steven Mithen, professor of Early Prehistory at Reading University in the United Kingdom, chose his title well, I thought. Not everybody seems to … Continue reading

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The rise of subliteracy

Some small things can be quite shocking. Watching the Discovery Channel the other day,my eyes almost popped out when I saw “12 a.m.” come up on the screen. “Oh,no,” I groaned inwardly. “Further subliteracy, and this on an international TV … Continue reading

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Few Indonesians read purely for pleasure

In 1930, a dozen years before the Japanese conquest of the Netherlands East Indies, statistics, gathered by the Dutch, revealed that only 6.4 percent of the “native” (i.e. indigenous) population of the colony was literate. After the 300-plus years of … Continue reading

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