Dictionary, Ageing, British History, Interpreting, Reality, English Churches


Hic sunt camelopardus: this historical edition of The Browser is presented for archaeological purposes; links and formatting may be broken.

The Oxford English Dictionary

Christopher Howse | Spectator | 20th August 2016

Peter Gilliver’s account of the “meddling, penny-pinching and breathtaking slog” that went into making this “truly national work”, the Oxford English Dictionary, makes us realise how lucky we are to have the OED at all. No college made Murray, the first editor, a fellow. “The brilliant and unflagging Fitzedward Hall, who’d sent in 200,000 historical quotations, was sacked from the Foreign Office, accused of being both a drunkard and a foreign spy”. And yet the work continued (1,027 words)

The Change

Martha Crawford | What A Shrink Thinks | 20th August 2016

A psychotherapist reflects on ageing. “In the arrogance of youth, I rejected the models of older women around me. Even though I admired their wisdom, I was afraid of their ageing bodies: their sensible shoes, their cute little attempts at working out. And laughably they were likely all my age or younger than I am now. But I will have to initiate my tribe of clients into this space. So I have to listen to my body, and not battle with it, and find meaning in it” (1,800 words)

The Brutal Truth About The British Empire

Marc Parry | Guardian | 18th August 2016

Harvard historian Caroline Elkins recounts her fight to discover and document the use of torture and repression by British colonial officers when fighting the Mau Mau rebellion in Kenya in the 1950s. Her book, Britain’s Gulag, inspired a lawsuit by victims of British torture, and the eventual disclosure by the British Foreign Office of thousands of secret files documenting “atrocities that were committed and hidden from the world for decades”. Elkins says there is more to come (5,050 words)

Hitler And The Reinvention Of Interpreting

Ewandro Magalhães | LinkedIn | 8th August 2016

A French radio station commissioned the first known use of simultaneous interpretation to relay a speech given by Hitler at Nuremberg in 1934. A decade later the technique was first used on an institutional scale for the trial of Nazi war criminals, again in Nuremberg. The interpreters reported terrible strain both from the pressure of work and from the material they were asked to translate. One said that “after just four months in Nuremberg she felt ten years older” (1,340 words)

Andrew Briggs On Science, God, Reality

Sophie Roell | Five Books | 20th August 2016

Interview with Oxford University physics professor Andrew Briggs, who also holds a degree in theology, about the the coexistence of science and religion. “In science, there is a genuine pleasure from getting an experiment to work, or solving a theoretical problem. That can be experienced by people whether or not they have a relationship with God. But that pleasure is hugely enriched when it’s in the context of a relationship with the Creator, whose work you’re studying” (7,300 words)

Ten Things Wrong With Parish Churches

James Alexander Cameron | Stained Glass Attitudes | 20th August 2016

Listicle dispelling some of the folklore which tends to accumulate around English parish churches. On Crusader Tombs: “The main story with these is that if a knight has his legs crossed, then he died in the Crusades. This is rubbish. Effigies have their legs crossed is because they look pretty silly with their legs straight, as if they’re lying in bed, depressed and not wanting to get up and go to work. With their legs akimbo they look ready for action. It’s not a special cipher ready to be decoded” (3,030 words)

Video of the day: Andre De Grasse versus Jessie Owen

What to expect:

Are modern runners faster thanks to better kit? Andre De Grasse runs a 100m sprint in Jessie Owens’s shoes (2’44”)

Thought for the day

Principles always become a matter of vehement discussion when practice is at an ebb
George Gissing

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