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  • Language tip of the week: embarrassing

    In this weekly post, we bring more useful content from the Macmillan Dictionary to English language learners. In this series of language tips to accompany the Real Vocabulary theme we look at how you can expand your vocabulary in English by using different words and expressions instead of core vocabulary items. This set of language […]

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  • US election word of the week: presumptive nominee

    In this series we are looking at some of the language and terminology associated with the US electoral process in the run-up to the Presidential election in late 2016. This week’s word is presumptive nominee. Having passed the threshold of 1237 delegates he needs to win the Republican nomination, Donald Trump is now the party’s […]

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  • Real Vocabulary Quiz, Question 10: Which is right: “less cars” or “fewer cars”?

    Our Real Grammar series showed how the evidence of language in use often undermines or contradicts the made-up or outdated “rules” which some people insist on. In this series on Real Vocabulary, with Scott Thornbury, we’re bringing you blog posts, videos and a quiz that give evidence-based answers to frequently asked questions about vocabulary. ______________ […]

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  • Language and words in the news – 18th June, 2016

    This post contains a selection of links related to language and words in the news. These can be items from the latest news, blog posts or interesting websites related to global English, language change, education in general, and language learning and teaching in particular. Feel free to contact us if you would like to submit a link […]

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  • Language tip of the week: feeling embarrassed and guilty

    In this weekly post, we bring more useful content from the Macmillan Dictionary to English language learners. In this series of language tips to accompany the Real Vocabulary theme we look at how you can expand your vocabulary in English by using different words and expressions instead of core vocabulary items. This set of language […]

    Read the full article
  • From Bard Words to BuzzWords – parallels in word formation

    For many years now, Macmillan Dictionary’s popular BuzzWord posts have been examining some of the latest additions to the English lexicon, and with a back catalogue of over 500 words and expressions, they’ve looked at the full range of weird and wonderful linguistic innovations, from amazeballs to ambush marketing, zonkey to zorbing. Though outwardly these […]

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  • Language and words in the news – 10th June, 2016

    This post contains a selection of links related to language and words in the news. These can be items from the latest news, blog posts or interesting websites related to global English, language change, education in general, and language learning and teaching in particular. Feel free to contact us if you would like to submit a link […]

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  • New images and a quiz!

    The eagle-eyed among you will have noticed that some of Macmillan Dictionary’s entries now include photographs. This latest addition applies to a range of colours, fruits and vegetables, animals, and natural phenomena. So when you are looking for descriptions of words like rhubarb, jade or aardvark, there is a visual aid in addition to the […]

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  • Language tip of the week: feeling embarrassed

    In this weekly post, we bring more useful content from the Macmillan Dictionary to English language learners. In this series of language tips to accompany the Real Vocabulary theme we look at how you can expand your vocabulary in English by using different words and expressions instead of core vocabulary items. This set of language […]

    Read the full article
  • Blethering about blatherskite

    Among the recent additions to Macmillan’s Open Dictionary – crowdsourced through reader submissions – is the colourful word blatherskite. This can refer either to ‘a person who talks nonsense’ or to the nonsense itself: blatherskites talk blatherskite. Blatherskite is a compound in two parts. It was formed by joining blather – a noun and verb […]

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  • Language and words in the news – 3rd June, 2016

    This post contains a selection of links related to language and words in the news. These can be items from the latest news, blog posts or interesting websites related to global English, language change, education in general, and language learning and teaching in particular. Feel free to contact us if you would like to submit a link […]

    Read the full article
  • Language tip of the week: embarrassed

    In this weekly post, we bring more useful content from the Macmillan Dictionary to English language learners. In this series of language tips to accompany the Real Vocabulary theme we look at how you can expand your vocabulary in English by using different words and expressions instead of core vocabulary items. This set of language […]

    Read the full article

Recent Comments

Recent Comments
  • Posted by Patricia del Vall to Real Vocabulary Quiz, Question 9: can "momentarily" mean "soon" or "in a moment"? on June 24, 2016 I really like this full explanation from an expert on this field. I also find it cultural and useful. Please, keep on posting these interesting and attractive latest language use. Truthfully yours, Teacher former and National Translator Patricia del Vall

  • Posted by Stan Carey to Blethering about blatherskite on June 07, 2016 Thanks for letting me know, Adrian. I wouldn't have guessed it was so common. Blether is occasionally used in Ireland, but blather is a lot more common; it usually refers to the rambling speech itself, or is used as a verb for that activity.

  • Posted by Adrian Morgan to Blethering about blatherskite on June 07, 2016 "Blether", as a noun equivalent to "chatterbox", was commonplace when I lived in Scotland in the early eighties, ranking in ubiquity only slightly below "och", and "wee", with which it was often heard in conjunction. It was used, affectionately, of my preschooler sister.

  • Posted by dlm to Real Vocabulary Quiz, Question 1: When do you say "awesome"? on May 26, 2016 Hi there! I was in the States recently, specifically in Rocky Mountain country, and heard "awesome" being used in lieu of "thank you" as in - Here's your meal. - Awesome. or as a way of acknowledging what someone has said - whether or not what was said was "awesome" in any sense of the word! - Turn left at the corner and you'll see it about 100 yards ahead of you. Can't miss it. - Awesome. Maybe I've been...

  • Posted by Stan Carey to Flat adverbs are exceeding fine on May 16, 2016 The Years with Ross (1959), James Thurber's account of the early years of the New Yorker, has a lovely example. It describes James M. Cain at Thanksgiving dinner "putting the turkey, platter and all, on the floor and carving it, blandly going on with the story he was telling, and he told stories exceeding well."