Category Archives: Vocabulary

Yes, no, definitely maybe – part 2

More excellent writing on Scottish independence

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26 Words

From random selections to choosing to create a strict Vinca verse form, this project was brought to life through the liberation of constraints.

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It’s all Greek to me

  Just back from Easter in the Peloponnese. Chaos meets miracles. Microscopic olive buds bursting from elephantine trunks. Marble soft as a pillow. Iridescent jet propelled beetles as big as mice. Horses performing circus tricks for sugar cubes. Giant lemons of many varieties hanging from one slender bough. Satellites like flying islands winking between the [...]

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Rock Paper Scissors

To mark William Burroughs’ 100th birthday (snippets of him live on in all of us) here’s a bunch of vids. A Man Within CIA Assassin? Thanksgiving prayer William Burroughs photographs Love your enemies Shotgun paintings Dr Benway operates The Threepenny Opera Destroy all rational thought Cut-Ups Junkie Cut-Up Balloons in Black & White Commissioner of Sewers [...]

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SIT DOWN AND SHUT UP

  I spent my schooldays staring the glass out of the windows. The poverty of expectation suffocated aspiration. The punitive discipline blunted everything about us. Teachers yawned their way through lessons. I had been imprisoned for a crime I had not committed. I hid from bullies and sports masters in music and art rooms, inventing [...]

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Why stories matter

If there isn’t something to oppose or resolve it isn’t a story.

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City of Literature

One of the postcards caused me some disquiet. It recalls a shocking episode from my days living in Norwich. I didn’t want to trivialise something that left many people deeply upset. But Ian McEwan’s Sweet Tooth had taken me right back to the site of that event, and I felt it would be dishonest if I didn’t reflect this in my piece.

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Turned out nice again

The Southbank Centre invited me to create a language installation for the Festival of Neighbourhood. The site stretches from Waterloo Bridge to the London Eye, and incorporates the new Jubilee Gardens that front the old Shell complex. Language is a strong theme in this year’s summer festivities. They include the London Literary Festival, typo-graphics by [...]

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Apostrophegeddon

Writing is not about rules, but communicating ideas. Any company that rejects a job application because of a misplaced apostrophe is barking up the wrong tree. The most original thinkers I work with struggle to tie their shoelaces.

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Fighting talk

There are words whose unexpected appearance in the public domain causes a combination of fascination and dictionary grabbing. And then there is another category of words whose appearance is so utterly surprising that you just have to sit back and admire the sheer etymological bravado of it all. Such a word popped up in headlines the world over this past Friday. The American government’s choice of ‘bellicose’ to describe the rhetoric of North Korea.

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