Theodore Dalrymple; Misappropriating mistruths.

21st December 2016 0

A single word – there will be no prizes for guessing which – caught my eye in the following headline, published by the news service of one of my internet servers: ‘Katie Hopkins makes statement after writing series of mistruths in Mail.’ Mistruths? What is a mistruth? A lie, an untruth, an error? The word is a neologism invented or used … [Read on]

Theodore Dalrymple; Have you packed your own suitcase?

11th December 2016 5

No time or society, I imagine, is entirely without its ironies or contradictions. For example, we are horrified by the sexual abuse of children but all our social policy over the last fifty years has been to maximise it. We would, in practice, be far more horrified by attempts to reverse that policy than any amount of such abuse. We … [Read on]

Theodore Dalrymple; Gender Benders

5th December 2016 3

My computer tries to improve my style by automatically underlining in blue what it believes to be clichés or redundant phrases. If I type in order to, for example, the blue wavy line appears unbidden under the three words. In so far as is another phrase that, schoolmarm-like, my computer underlines as if to correct me.[pullquote]The December paper edition of … [Read on]

Theodore Dalrymple; Europhobia

10th November 2016 2

As every foreign correspondent knows, taxi drivers are the font of all information – and of wisdom too. My driver from the airport to the centre of Paris was from Guinea and he was starting a business in Senegal: a chicken farm to supply a grocery and a restaurant that he wold also own. He showed me a picture on … [Read on]

Theodore Dalrymple; Who is my neighbour?

10th November 2016 3

There is a difference between fairness and justice, though many do not make the distinction. A just world (more or less) is perhaps possible; a fair world is not. I was recently in a car on my way to Sao Paulo airport. You have to leave a wide margin of time to get there because it can take three hours … [Read on]

Theodore Dalrymple; Mrs May, empty words before capitulation

8th October 2016 2

It takes a certain gift to combine cliché with error, but Mrs May – to judge by her recent big speech to the Conservative Party Conference – appears to have it in full. In so far as the speech did not consist of the most hackneyed and empty phrases, it could have been delivered by any Labour leader before Mr … [Read on]

Theodore Dalrymple; What’s in a Word?

27th September 2016 0

What’s in a word, and how much can it express? Sometimes quite a lot, if it’s just the right one. The other day I had an example of how much a single well-chosen word can convey. I was at a conference to give a talk; it was held in a hotel in the country, not an old inn or country … [Read on]

Theodore Dalrymple. Corbyn’s Labour Party; Freedom of Opinion not welcome here

23rd September 2016 2

There was a time when taking the pledge meant abjuring strong drink, but members of the Labour Party will soon have to take a different pledge: to abjure strong language online. Apparently Labour MPs have been inundated, or whatever the correct term for it is, by abusive electronic messages. One MP alone, Ruth Smeeth, has received 25,000 abusive messages, including … [Read on]

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