From IDC to YOLO, #Words of the year

Language, driven by social media and texting, is renewing itself faster than ever

Middle-class sexism: who cares?

Many educated women and men have unexamined sexist assumptions, chiefly about childcare

How Italy lost la dolce vita

The old have nice pensions, the middle-aged are unsackable and the young fight for temporary contracts

Urbanism: the new ideas for city living

‘Working in cafés is very 2003. The next step: working in parks, even in winter’

Slow pressure best way to change Fifa

A World Cup boycott by the west sounds superficially plausible but would fail

Which way is Ireland going?

After rule by Brits, bishops and then bankers, Ireland for much of the crisis was practically run from Germany

Football scores big with social media

Of the 1.3bn-plus people on Facebook, 500m are football supporters. Now the world’s major clubs are fixated on a new quest – to turn the love of millions of fans into serious money

The man who made data play ball

‘Bill James is arguably the father of today’s analytics revolution ... He has rethought the world using numbers‘

Berlin: a tale of two cities

Current Berlin chatter about house prices recalls Ireland circa 2003. Tourist hordes have replaced the old occupying armies

Confessions of a white Oxbridge male

I feel very little sense of achievement. I didn’t get here on merit. I was born to be a minor establishment functionary

The working classes deserve respect

Rights for gay people, women and other groups are in the ascendant but the working class gets dismissed as an embarrassing relic

Why a harmonious team is just not cricket

Cruyff thought quarrels drove creativity because they made everyone think harder about how to play

How Brad Pitt brings out the best in dads

We mustn’t present the new fatherhood as a taming of men

Author economics: the brutal truth

I’ve found pdfs of my books free online. ‘Information wants to be free,’ says a modern mantra. Well, my information doesn’t

How Paris put everything on the menu

The French should feel more superior. While world cuisine conquers Paris, French cuisine has conquered the world

Why the world is getting safer

From 1970 to 2008, death rates fell even in war zones because gains from better healthcare trumped deaths from fighting

France – the way the French see it

The country is the way that it is because most French people want it that way

Learning another language? Don’t bother

To achieve perfect fluency, you need to start very young – preferably as an infant

America - the best place to be British

The three great omissions of American life – the BBC, football and healthcare – are now increasingly on tap

From my inbox: the hot topics

Thanks to social media, I get more responses to my columns every year. Most are smart and friendly. Some aren’t

ABOUT SIMON

Simon KuperSimon Kuper joined the Financial Times in 1994. He ended up writing the daily currencies column and was driven out by tedium in 1998. He returned in 2002 as a sports columnist and has been there ever since, occasionally allowed out of his sports box to write about books, the Netherlands or other subjects.

Simon was born in Uganda and grew up in London, the Netherlands, the US, Sweden and Jamaica. He studied at Oxford, Harvard and the Technische Universität of West Berlin. His first book, Football Against the Enemy (1994), set him on a path of writing about sport with an anthropologist’s eye. His column in the FT tries to place sport and sportsmen within a country, a time, a society, while also being about sport itself.

E-mail simon.kuper@ft.com

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