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  • Posted by Stan to Linguistic botany on August 19, 2014 Another one I read recently: "Nobody would attack a botanist merely because that botanist was interested in finding out what plants are like, instead of creating beautiful gardens." It's by Larry Trask in Introducing Linguistics; full passage here.

  • Posted by Justine to The influence of English on the Russian language on August 14, 2014 I came across this article hoping to find some discussion on why the Russian lexicon seems to have very many familiar English words just spelled in the Cyrillic. Thank you for enlightening me :D But with this insight, I have a question: are present-day Russians typically polyglots? (like Germans and Scandanavians who speak their mother tongue but are also conversational in English, French, etc.) Thank you! The article is quite helpful :)

  • Posted by Silvia Jaitin to Life skills tip of the week: ways of suggesting something on August 09, 2014 I really find your examples for every day situations used in oral English very useful! I take notes of the most difficult ones to teach my students for their Speaking Skills and have them use these examples in Role play situations. Thanks a lot!

  • Posted by Paul to What kinda people say "could of"? on August 07, 2014 It is, or any phonetic referent is obscure (to me at least). Sorry for the mistaken assumption about your dialect - I don't see how I leapt to that conclusion from your comment, but evidently I did.

  • Posted by Stan to What kinda people say "could of"? on August 07, 2014 "Woz" for was is an analogous example that's independent of the wine/whine merger (which, incidentally, my dialect doesn't have).

  • Broadcast(ed) and forecast(ed)

    Children learning language for the first time tend to regularise irregular verbs, saying things like ‘I goed’ instead of ‘I went’ and ‘we runned’ instead of ‘we ran’. If English inflection were more consistent, these utterances would be normal practice, not errors – though it’s worth noting that children may be more aware of words’ […]

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  • Language and words in the news – 15th August, 2014

    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: till

    In this weekly post, we bring more useful content from the Macmillan Dictionary to English language learners. These tips are usually based on areas of English which learners find difficult, e.g. spelling, grammar, collocation, synonyms, etc. This week’s language tip helps with using the preposition and conjunction till. Till and until mean the same, but […]

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  • Life skills tip of the week: ways of saying hello

    Learning about pragmatics and how to express yourself successfully is a useful life skill, said Michael Rundell in January when he introduced the new pragmatics series on Macmillan Dictionary. The series is part of the Macmillan Life Skills campaign, offering free resources for English language students and teachers each month. As part of the series, we’ll bring more useful content and […]

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  • Word roots and routes: bear

    Next in a series of posts exploring some of the ‘roots’ and ‘routes’ of English vocabulary. The verb bear has very deep, tenacious roots. It was beran in Old English, and this in turn was a development from an Indo-European root which already had the dual meanings of ‘carry’ and ‘give birth‘. One word related […]

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  • Language and words in the news – 8th August, 2014

    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: hot

    In this weekly post, we bring more useful content from the Macmillan Dictionary to English language learners. These tips are usually based on areas of English which learners find difficult, e.g. spelling, grammar, collocation, synonyms, etc. This week’s language tip helps with some other ways of saying hot: tepid almost cold: used especially of liquids: […]

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  • What kinda people say “could of”?

    In a survey of attitudes to disputed usages in English, respondents were presented with three sentences and asked the following questions about them: “Is it acceptable in English today, would you use it yourself? If so, where and when? If not, why not? If you think the sentence is unacceptable, why would that be the […]

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  • Hail-phrase-well-met

    I was ploughing through a legal thriller recently (Limitations by Scott Turow) when I came across a line that brought me up short: ‘“Nathan!” George cries, hail fellow well met, as he strides out.’ Hail fellow well met. I’ve been encountering this expression on and off over the years, but never properly examined it. What […]

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  • Language and words in the news – 1st August, 2014

    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: interest

    In this weekly post, we bring more useful content from the Macmillan Dictionary to English language learners. These tips are usually based on areas of English which learners find difficult, e.g. spelling, grammar, collocation, synonyms, etc. This week’s language tip helps with the patterns that can follow the noun interest: When the noun interest means […]

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  • Word roots and routes: heart

    Next in a series of posts exploring some of the ‘roots’ and ‘routes’ of English vocabulary. Heart (Germanic) has relatives in words beginning with card- (from Greek) and cord- / cour- (from Latin/French).* The Greek root is used in medical terminology; cardiac arrest, for example, is a term used by medical professionals for what the […]

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