This event is exclusive to Friends of Tortoise
This is a live studio recording.
This is an in-person only event. Non-member tickets are available on design my night
An evening of conversation, ideas and entertainment, new and exclusively for Tortoise members.
English: one language with a billion native speakers and countless ways to speak it.
Tortoise Lates is a live studio recording. Doors open at 6pm for a 6.15pm start. If you arrive late, we will show you to your seat during the first interval.
Part one: How do words work?
There are about 600,000 words in the English language, and yet finding the right words for the perfect situation or emotion can be difficult – especially as language changes and words and their meanings evolve. The right words can summon powerful emotions, bring down governments or inspire generations – so why do we get them wrong so often?
Join us for a ThinkIn with Susie Dent, author, lexicographer extraordinaire, and Queen of Countdown’s Dictionary Corner as we find the right words for the right time, covering any emotional, political, or social situation.
Part two: The Tortoise Interview with Wretch 32
Wretch 32 is one of the most influential musicians at work in Britain today. He is also a lyricist of unparalleled ability, and an advocate of music as a tool to educate as well as to entertain. In an age of unprecedented social and political change, Wretch’s music stands as a medium of protest and of progress, helping to explain and shape a new era.
His recent book, Rapthology, is part autobiography, part cultural history, and part guide to the craft of lyric writing.
In this Tortoise Interview, we explore the use of words and language in song and rap lyrics. What makes a song work? What element causes us to stop, listen, and listen again? Is it a melody? Is it a beat? Is it the words that are sung, or spoken? Is it what they speak to within us or is it a combination of all of the above?
editor and invited experts
Guest editor, writer and author
Author, English lexicographer, etymologist, and media personality
British rapper, singer and songwriter