From Aardvark to Woke: Inside The Oxford English Dictionary

Pippa Bailey explores the fascinating business of defining a word.

The Oxford English Dictionary remains, in many ways, a Victorian phenomenon, born in an era of remarkable innovation: of railways and steelworks, anthropology and anaesthesia, Charleses Dickens and Darwin. It is difficult, now, when the thought of consulting a paper dictionary seems so analogue, to grasp how audacious it once was to try to capture, for the very first time, every word and make it tell its story.

Source: New Statesman
Published: Jun 22, 2022
Length: 20 minutes (5,148 words)

‘What Have We Got Ourselves Into?’

“The hotel that became home to 150 Afghan refugees.”

Source: New Statesman
Published: Dec 9, 2021
Length: 18 minutes (4,500 words)

The Reckoning: Rape Culture and the Crisis in British Schools

“After Scarlett Mansfield collated 200 accounts of sexual harassment, inspectors put her former school on notice. Could it be the first of many?”

Source: New Statesman
Published: Oct 6, 2021
Length: 18 minutes (4,740 words)

The Voice in Your Head

The Hearing Voices Movement is reshaping our understanding of hallucination — and what it means to be “mad.”

Source: New Statesman
Published: Mar 24, 2021
Length: 18 minutes (4,588 words)

What It Means to Be a Hero

“Acts of courage in the age of Covid-19.”

Source: New Statesman
Published: Jul 22, 2020
Length: 10 minutes (2,550 words)

The Great University Con: How the British Degree Lost Its Value

English universities appear to have done the impossible: attracting increasing numbers of students and graduating them with high scores. Unfortunately, lower academic standards and grade inflation are responsible for England’s so-called education miracle. Instead of selling academic rigor, universities sell degrees, and that’s what students come to buy.

Source: New Statesman
Published: Aug 21, 2019
Length: 20 minutes (5,186 words)

The Millionaire Makers: What Happens When 100,000 People Create Their Own Lottery?

A Reddit money pool — where anyone can sign up for a chance to win a few thousand dollars (and maybe even some bitcoin) — is testing the limits of online honor codes.

Source: New Statesman
Published: Dec 28, 2017
Length: 8 minutes (2,121 words)

Ralph Steadman: The Gonzo Marksman

“It can be hard to fill the hours, so I try to make a mark every day.” Ralph Steadman, the Welsh artist best known for his political cartoons and collaborations with Hunter S. Thompson, continues to make art that makes a statement.

Author: Xan Rice
Source: New Statesman
Published: Jan 3, 2017
Length: 17 minutes (4,493 words)

Head in the Cloud

What does “remembering” mean in an age where human memory is outsourced to gadgets and social networks?

Source: New Statesman
Published: Feb 23, 2016
Length: 11 minutes (2,995 words)

‘I Was Killed When I Was 27’: The Curious Afterlife of Terence Trent D’Arby

In 1987, Terence Trent D’Arby’s debut album sold a million copies in just three days, and the music press went crazy for him. There was nowhere to go but down.

Source: New Statesman
Published: Oct 9, 2015
Length: 18 minutes (4,697 words)