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Punctuation marks like the comma and the question mark are fairly secure in ‘literate’ usage, but one cannot say the same for the apostrophe, whose curious and unstable history and present condition merit some thought.
When new nations are created national languages and identities are often created with them. The British Caribbean in recent decades has provided opportunities to see such processes evolve and to consider their wider implications.
When the Pilgrim Fathers left Plymouth in 1620 they took with them not just their genes and their ideas but also the local dialects that they spoke. Can their styles of speech be reconstructed, much as the original ‘Plimoth Plantation’ has recently been reconstructed?
IAN WATSON's letter on a ‘new’ tense, in ET6 (April 86) has continued to inspire responses. We reproduce his letter once again, with PAUL CHRISTOPHERSEN'S history of what proves to be a very old tense.
Every occupation has its own expressions, not least the world of finance. EAN TAYLOR looks at some arcane items used in banks and building societies in England, and would welcome information about parallel usages elsewhere.