Warren Quinton

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A Point of View: Why Orwell was a literary mediocrity

<b>George Orwell was a literary mediocrity and his views on the importance of plain writing are plain wrong, argues writer Will Self.</b><p>"The English," GK Chesterton wrote, "love a talented mediocrity." Which is not to suggest that we don't also have a reverence for the charismatic and gifted, or that …

Literature

A Point of View: In defence of obscure words

<b>We chase "fast culture" at our peril - unusual words and difficult art are good for us, says Will Self.</b><p>We are living in a risk-averse culture - there's no doubt about that.<p>But the risk that people seem most reluctant taking is not a physical but a mental one: just as the concrete in children's …

Mental Disorders

Why I, a 15-year-old grammar pedant, took on Tesco

I am a pedant. There is no question about it. Everyone I know would agree, and I accept and embrace it. I have no problem with being called a nerd, or a geek, or any synonyms of these words. I watch the BBC programme QI, and I have read the quiz show's Book of General Ignorance, which has prompted …

What language tells us about the roots of the stone age diet

Next month, the UK’s first paleolithic restaurant will open in London. The paleo, stone-age or caveman diet has been around in various forms for decades. But it harks back to a much earlier time, when our eating habits were supposedly in line with our evolution, before agriculture came along and …

Top five most scathing book reviews

Will Self on Julie Burchill’s Unchosen<p>“I can’t really dignify her latest offering with the ascription ‘book’, nor the contents therein as ‘writing’ – rather they are sophomoric, hammy effusions, wrongheaded, rancorous and pathetically self-aggrandising.” Will Self’s review of Julie Burchill’s …

The hyperbole we love to hate

"Beyond unbelievable, will return" says a happy traveller of her holiday on a ratings website. "Utterly incredible" says another. These phrases don't seem all that strange, despite meaning, if you go by the dictionary definition, that the experiences were so extreme as to be difficult to reconcile …