Magazine article The Times Higher Education Supplement : THE

New and Noteworthy

Magazine article The Times Higher Education Supplement : THE

New and Noteworthy

Article excerpt

The War on the Old

John Sutherland

Biteback

It comes to us all. Even if you're short on sympathy for the boomers - last spotted V-flicking their own patiently suffering elders, prancing through their demographic-bulge salad days before boring everyone who came after with nth-hand tales of shagging at the Isle of Wight - you should read this short, sharp, scary book about how bad it is, and how much worse it will soon be, to get old. Covering media invisibility, "millionaires' bus passes" and bloody Nick Clegg, pensions, prostates, pills and "the old man's friend" of the massive coronary, winter fuel allowances and care home horrors fit to make medical suppliers vomit in the car park, it ends on a determined note - wise up, don't be a victim - more bracing than Skegness.

¿Por qué? 101 Questions About Spanish

Judy Hochberg

Bloomsbury

The linguist author describes finding all the answers to her favourite questions (the titular 101) as a dream come true, and those who find language learning nightmarish may well be beguiled in spite of themselves. Aimed at the general reader, but offering informative signposts to the relevant literature at the end of each disquisition, the book treats queries on matters such as Latin's metamorphosis into Spanish, the famous ñ, "charming derivational endings", the rolled r, the "la la" rule, and, yes, the plaintive cry - to which Hochberg's reply is supremely reassuring - "is it too late for me to learn Spanish"?

Working the Phones: Control and Resistance in Call Centres

Jamie Woodcock

Pluto Press

Crikey, talk about "the classical Marxist notion of alienation". Which is exactly what Jamie Woodcock does in this grim account of the modern-day "chain worker", goaded to keep pitching to the terminally ill, the weeping bereaved parent, the trade union official who replies by asking about the cold-caller's union status and, as both quickly switch to code, wishes him luck. …

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