I’ve just finished Robert Macfarlane’s ‘Landmarks’ and if you were ever lost for words, here’s the perfect antidote. The book is a paean (a song of praise or triumph, in this instance to the names we give {gave?} things) against the steady erosion of words which perfectly capture the smallest of observations (so a smeuse? […]

…we’ve been using 23 words for something over 15,000 years. If you love language, the reason might well be that it’s more like our DNA, evolving with us and keeping hold of its own most useful – and usable – ingredients. In fact, judging from Mark Pagel’s work (an evolutionary biologist at Reading University, England), […]