Category Archives: Features

The Adventure of English

Melvyn Bragg UCL

My favourite word of the moment is ‘Mountweazel’. My curious fingertips stumbled across this short article in the New Yorker from 2005 which explains Mountweazels more succinctly than I ever could. Did you know that dictionaries often add in fictitious words as a copyright trap? The article states that the 2005 edition of the New Oxford American Dictionary contains a made-up word beginning with ‘E’ and a shortlist of six possible Mountweazels surfaced and the list was sent to various lexicography experts and they (correctly) agreed that the word ‘esquivalience’ was the imposter (I admit, of the list, that’s not the one I would have chosen!). I summoned my Dictionary programme that lies in the dock area of my Mac and typed in ‘esquivalience’ and there lies a definition consistent with the false entry from the NOAD:

Esquivalience

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It’s in the Bag…

Travel Beauty

Inspired by the ‘Glamour On The Go’ exhibition I thought I would share the contents of my bag and makeup bag when I’m out for the day covering a story. No one should cart around such an exhaustive makeup kit worthy of a massive Zuca makeup bag (unless of course you’re an actual makeup artist, in which case go right ahead!) so I’ve pared down the contents to the absolute essentials. Some days I’ll be carting around what feels like half of Boots in my bag and then I’ll do a clear out, always keeping the same, carefully curated goods each time.

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Glamour On The Go Exhibition

Glamour on the Go exhibition

I wrote this for the Essential Surrey website – essentialsurrey.co.uk.

Our choice of make-up reveals interesting little things about us, while paradoxically covering us up. Trends in cosmetics reinforce current beauty ideals, social attitudes and economic conditions. With this truism in mind, an exhibition that explores the evolution of make-up and its shifting form and function is surely the most glamorous way to track and digest these changes.
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Matisse ‘The Cut-Outs’ at Tate Modern

Tate Modern

Movement was very important to artist Henri Matisse (1869-1954). His art has a particularly playful energy, and none more so than in his later works. Health problems in the early 1940s meant that his physical mobility was limited, but he would not let his creativity be held back in the same way. He created a new method of working by using cut out shapes from painted paper to produce a new form of art. The exhibition at the Tate Modern explores Matisse’s development of this technique: The Cut-Outs.

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