I am painfully aware, as a Labour voter, of the pressure the party is under to be something new, to reincarnate under a messianic leader and to be a credible opposition to a government that has had very little contest in the time it has taken to sort out who's in charge at Labour HQ. But is this where the Labour Party is going?
Working in radio news means you become fixated with pronunciation. Words that seem so simple become overly complicated as you realise we say them in different ways. Is harassment - her-rass-ment or haris-ment for example? Then there's controversy or CON-TROV-ERR-SEE. A can of worms has been opened and it's very hard to close it again.
In recent times there have been some unwelcome intruders, masquerading as meaningful expressions. They have crept into our everyday conversation and have got rather too settled. They are over-used, largely meaningless and highly irritating. It's time we stood up, banished these banal expressions and reclaimed our language.
As people have come to recognise the power of words, we've worked hard to eliminate hate speech and the prejudices that usually accompany it, including sexism, racism and bigotry. It's high time that we also recognised the devastating effects of speciesism and worked to counteract it and the words that fuel it.
So I would say that Riotta's article attracted a large amount of attention not only because he brought the hot topic of relationships and romance into the less media-friendly (but nonetheless extremely important) topic of language-acquisition, but also because - very simply - there are a lot of bilinguals out there. And following on from Riotta's logic, a lot of good lovers.
I was there to sign an agreement between the British Council and Al Azhar to continue a partnership we have had since 2007. The agreement supports the teaching and learning of English for the University's star theology students, allowing them to take the voice of moderate Islam to non-Arabic speaking audiences internationally.