Monday 18 November 2013


Telegraph is one of those etymological crossroads. The graph bit, from the Greek for writing, links you to an epi-graph (something written on), a photo-graph (something written by light), or graphic (something written, originally).

Tele takes you to telescope (seeing from afar), teleport (carrying afar), and telephone (speak from afar). Tele is Greek for distant, and some people, strange people, therefore get angry about teleporting and television because portering and vision are both Latin and therefore shouldn't be mongreled up with Greek.

According to these people a televangelist is fine, but a television is Just Awful. But a telegraph (written from afar) is just fine.

All of which is a long way round of saying read this review by Charles Moore in today's Telegraph of my brand new book.

P.S. I'm giving a talk at Brendon Books in Taunton tonight, and in Hungerford tomorrow. The remainder of my book peregrination looks like this:

Taunton Literary Festival on 18th of November
The Hungerford Bookshop on 19th of November
Barter Books in Alnwick on 25th of November
The Edinburgh Bookshop on 26th of November
Rossiter Books in Ross-on-Wye on the 27th of November
Booka Bookshop in Oswestry on 28th of November
Blackwells Oxford on 9th of December
Steyning Bookshop in West Sussex on 10th of December
Warwick Books on 11th of December
The Idler Academy in London on 12th of December

I've always imagined that this is what it's like in the offices of The Telegraph


  1. It is of course, properly, a telephant. Though I usually shorten it to telly.