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  • Language tip of the week: people and things that are boring

    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: town hall meeting

    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 town hall meeting. President Obama, in London for a brief visit a couple of weeks ago, found time in a packed schedule […]

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  • Is adverbial ‘deep’ used wrong?

    The word deep runs deep in English history. In Old English it served a range of grammatical functions, much like today. It was used as a noun meaning deepness or the deep part of the sea (or other body of water). It was a verb meaning to make deep (= deepen), a usage now obsolete. […]

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  • Language and words in the news – 29th April, 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: making someone bored or becoming bored

    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: Acela primary

    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, hot off the press, is Acela primary. If you are anything like me, this week’s election word will mean nothing to you. Despite […]

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  • Open Dictionary Word of the Month: marmalade dropper

    207 new entries entered the Open Dictionary in March. This higher-than-usual total is due to the addition of over 100 BuzzWords culled from Kerry Maxwell‘s column of the same name. As its name suggests, the BuzzWord column focuses on the very latest linguistic novelties, and since the items added came from columns published in the […]

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  • Language and words in the news – 22nd April, 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: boring

    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
  • Real Vocabulary Quiz, Question 8: should I say “the data is…” or “the data are…”?

    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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  • US election word of the week: winner takes all

    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 actually a phrase: winner take(s) all. In a proportional primary or caucus, the delegates are allocated in proportion to the percentage of […]

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  • Language and words in the news – 15th April, 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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Recent Comments

Recent Comments
  • Posted by Stan Carey to Is adverbial ‘deep’ used wrong? on May 03, 2016 Thanks, Ramona! A lot of writing experts, including some authors, advise against the use of adverbs. But outlawing them entirely is excessive and unhelpful (not to mention virtually impossible). Better, I think, to just use them with care.

  • Posted by Ramona McKean to Is adverbial ‘deep’ used wrong? on May 03, 2016 Loved your post! Then there are those like Stephen King who say, "Don't use adverbs." But that's a different story. :-)

  • Posted by Stan to Ain’t nothin’ (grammatically) wrong with no double negatives on April 25, 2016 Indeed there are good reasons for 'accepting and welcoming agreed rules' in different walks of life. But you ignore the fact that this means accepting different rules in different situations. When it comes to the English language, some of the rules vary with context – because the language itself does. English is not a uniform entity. It has many varieties, each of which has its own set of rules that are appropriate to it. Most of...

  • Posted by Tropi to Ain’t nothin’ (grammatically) wrong with no double negatives on April 23, 2016 There are excellent reasons for accepting and welcoming agreed rules in almost any walk of life. They help us to understand one another better and to get along with each other better. It makes complete sense for present day English speakers and writers to accept that double negatives do make a positive. It makes sense because it accords with already very well established mathematical and logical rules The alternative is that no one understand what anyone...

  • Posted by PratimaRoy to Real Grammar Quiz, Question 9: should I say "Can I..." or "May I ..."? on April 19, 2016 Sir, greetings of the day. 'Can I post my comment, please?' 'Yes, you can, provided you are thorough in the subject'. 'May I post my comment,please?' 'Of course, this space is meant for doing so'. I think this is how it goes. But the mob rule has become the (dis)order of the day in using the language. Words like 'anyway' being used in the plural (anyways!) or pronouncing 'write' as 'vrite', have become very common; but it is very...