Friday, March 26, 2004

A Tour de Force

Writing for newspapers can be a depressing and soul-destroying business, but every now and again a man can break his bonds and write for Art and posterity. Simon Jenkins achieves it in today's London Times. Ostensibly writing a feature about that survey that came out during the week with the Plain English lobby bitching about clichés, Jenkins takes the opportunity to extemporise on the whole notion of language in general, and English in particular, as a Heraclitean fire, always changing and always the same.

Writing abou the changing nature of BBC radio, Jenkins writes: "Chat would be awful if composed only of perfectly structured sentences. It must embrace tones of light and dark, laughter and annoyance. We have passed from the Pre-Raphaelite precision of Lord Reith to the Post-Impressionism of the Today programme." Wouldn't you just kill to be able to write like that?

Sign up for the Times and treat yourself. It really is superb.