EVENT DATE 30/11/2021 19:00 - 21:00
What is the Headmaster’s Lecture Series?
As part of our academic enrichment programme, we are introducing the ‘Headmaster’s Lecture Series’, in which we invite inspiring and thought-provoking speakers to expose our students to fascinating topics ranging across the academic sphere, and beyond the confines of the normal curriculum.
The lecture series provide an opportunity for our school and the wider community to join together three times per year, with a different academic focus in each term.
The inaugural lecture will take place on Tuesday 30th November at 7.00pm in the Senior School Hall, and we are delighted to announce that our first speaker will be the renowned lexicographer, author and television presenter Susie Dent. She explains:
“I’ll be talking about the hidden stories of English, including the curious, unexpected, and sometimes surreal origins of the words we use every day. I’ll retell some of my favourite etymological adventures - how 'licking into shape' originally involved bears, and how ‘stealing someone’s thunder’ was once as literal an expression as you'll find anywhere. I’ll explain such oddities as the silent ‘h' in ghost and the mysterious disappearance of positive adjectives such as ‘kempt’, ‘gormful', and ‘ruly’ (and yes, you really can be ‘gruntled'). And I’ll look to the lexicon of the past to fill some of today’s linguistic gaps – such as the frenzied fit of tidying we all do just as guests are about to descend (that’s a ‘scurryfunge').
I’ll also explore usage irritations, the dreaded influence of US English, the impact of technology, and what the future of our language might hold.”
Who is Susie Dent?
Susie first appeared on Channel 4’s Countdown in 1992, alongside host Richard Whiteley and has been a staple of the show in Dictionary Corner ever since. The Oxford graduate had just begun working for the Oxford University Press producing English Dictionaries when she began working on the iconic show, though she reportedly turned down the idea of auditioning twice before she finally said yes. She has also made guest appearances on many other television programmes including: BBC Breakfast, Newsnight, This Morning, Test the Nation, Ant & Dec’s Saturday Night Takeaway, Not Going Out and The One Show.
Not only is Susie Dent a regular on our television screens, she has also written several books on the English language and has an award-winning Podcast ‘Something Rhymes with Purple’, alongside Dictionary Corner collaborator Gyles Brandreth.
Susie has also contributed to discussions on Radio 4's Woman's Hour, 15 x 15, Word of Mouth, Saturday Live, More or Less, Today, and on Radio 5 Live's Breakfast and Drive programmes, and has been a regular panellist on R4's Wordaholics.
Susie answers notes and queries about words and phrases in weekly columns in the Radio Times and The Week Junior. She has written for the Independent on Sunday, the Telegraph and the Times.
How can you get tickets?
AKS staff and students can attend free of charge and are kindly asked to complete this form to book their tickets. Remaining tickets will go on general release for parents and our wider community to buy from the 8th of November via a link which will be added to this article. Tickets for non-AKS children are £5 and are £10 for adults.