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Oliver Ready St Antony's College Oxford

Conversations with Translators (I): Oliver Ready on Crime and Punishment

I visited Oliver Ready recently at St Antony’s College, Oxford, where he is a research fellow in Russian society and culture, to hear about his five-year engagement with Dostoevsky’s Crime and Punishment (Penguin Classics, 2014): what persuaded him to take the project on? how did he limber up for it? and why – unusually – […]

Continue Reading · 7 April 2014 · language, literature, podcasts, translation

Is that a fish in your ear?

Last week I interviewed David Bellos about his new book on translation, Is That a Fish in Your Ear? (Penguin Books) and he drew my attention to this wonderfully creative and witty animation produced by Matt Young and Alan Trotter. David explained that the film was unscripted; the filmmakers simply chose a section of their […]

Continue Reading · 11 September 2011 · language, video

What is the OED? The editor explains…

What is the OED and who is it for? from George Miller on Vimeo. In this short film, John Simpson, editor of the Oxford English Dictionary, explains what the aim of the dictionary is and who it is for. As you’ll hear, the potential audience for the dictionary has massively increased since it went online.

Continue Reading · 19 April 2011 · language, literature, podcasts

One-Minute Word Histories: No.3 – Skulduggery

In the third of this short series of films, historical lexicographer Elizabeth Knowles talks about the history of the word ‘skulduggery’ and suggests a reason for its enduring appeal. There are more tips on how to pursue word histories for yourself in her new book, How to Read a Word (Oxford University Press, 2010).

Continue Reading · 6 January 2011 · language, video

One-Minute Word Histories: No.1 – Avatar

In the first of this short series of one-minute word histories, historical lexicographer Elizabeth Knowles explores the origins of the word “avatar”. If this inspires you, Elizabeth’s new book, How to Read a Word (2010), contains lots of tips on how to pursue word histories for yourself.

Continue Reading · 4 January 2011 · film, language, video

Exploring word histories

Elizabeth Knowles is a historical lexicographer, which means that she researches the histories of words – how did they come to mean what they mean today and what journeys have they taken to arrive at these meanings? Elizabeth firmly believes that “there is no such thing as a dull word” and to prove it has […]

Continue Reading · 18 November 2010 · language, podcasts