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  • Posted by Thomi to Is English going to the dog(e)s? on April 18, 2014 "Black English" can refer to two different language varieties: (1) the type of English used by people of African and Caribbean descent who live in Britain; (2) the language of African-Americans (negroes) in the United States. This is usually called Black English Vernacular or BEV for short. "Black English" in both senses has its historical roots in a creolised form of English which dates back to the time of slavery. Creoles are languages which evolve from...

  • Posted by Stan to Depending on metaphor on April 17, 2014 Transubstantiation is a good example, Doré, and the debate you mention is one I used to mull over in my youth. It was (pun unintended) a hard one to swallow.

  • Posted by Doré Bak to Depending on metaphor on April 16, 2014 Thank you for the reference to Sarah Kane’s play 4:48 Psychosis. It brings to mind the debate between Catholics and Protestants regarding the sacrament of the Eucharist. Is the bread literally the body of Christ? For Catholics, the metaphor of the bread is or becomes real. For Protestants, this metaphor is merely symbolic. This debate within the Christian community about transubstantiation is at the heart a debate about metaphors.

  • Posted by Marilena Adamo to Surveilling a new back formation on April 16, 2014 Thanks Michael and Stan for replying me. I assume your viewpoints are right. As for Michael's suggestion, I admit that I am tempted and, I must add, I would be extremely pleased to submit my article to your attention. Let's stay tuned!Happy Easter and Best Regards to you, Marilena

  • Posted by Saskia to Is English going to the dog(e)s? on April 16, 2014 wow post so dictionary much interest

  • Are you having hot cross buns today?

    Today’s Good Friday, the Friday before Easter, a Christian feast that many people from different cultures around the world celebrate every year. Easter marks the end of Lent, and for many it means spending time with family, going away on holiday, decorating eggs and eating traditional Easter dishes. Eggs are a symbol of re-birth and […]

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  • Language tip of the week: until

    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 conjunction and preposition until: Unlike till, the word until has only one […]

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  • Is English going to the dog(e)s?

    A few weeks back, our Friday column on Language and Words in the News included a link to an article by Gretchen McCulloch on the grammar of “doge”. Historically, a doge was an elected ruler of Venice, but that’s not the one we’re talking about here. And although the two words are homonyms (both pronounced […]

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  • Surveilling a new back formation

    New words are constantly entering English, though only some are destined to stick around or become standard. We might imagine them being made from scratch, and some, such as blurb and quark, were coined this way – by Gelett Burgess and James Joyce, respectively. Far more often, though, new words emerge through modification of existing […]

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  • Language and words in the news – 11th April, 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: eat

    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 other ways of saying eat: have breakfast/lunch/dinner to eat a particular meal: Have […]

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  • Are you -ish, -ic, -ese or -ian? (Or none of these?)

    Most people in Spain are Spanish and speak Spanish. Most people in Italy are Italian and speak Italian. There are many countries that give their name, plus a suffix, to both a language, and an adjective for things from the country. Of course there are lots of languages without countries, and plenty of countries that […]

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  • Life skills tip of the week: ways of apologizing

    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: water

    Next in a series of posts exploring some of the ‘roots’ and ‘routes’ of English vocabulary. Not surprisingly, in view of the vital importance of the colourless, odourless liquid it refers to, water is not only a frequent word in its own right (as a noun and a verb) but also appears in a large number of compounds. The […]

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  • Language and words in the news – 4th April, 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 […]

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

    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 noun ability: When ability means ‘the fact of being able to do something’, […]

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  • The words you need: follow the red words and stars

    I learned a great new Spanish word last week: tiquismiquis. Its equivalent in English would be something like nitpicker or fusspot. It’s not quite a case of onomatopoeia, but there’s something about the word that matches the referent, and this makes it easier to remember. Next time I come across it, I’ll know what it […]

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