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  • US election word of the week: swing state

    Posted by on September 27, 2016

     © PhotoDiscIn 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 swing state.

    A swing state, also known as a battleground state or a purple state, is a state in which no candidate or party has a clear majority or advantage, meaning that in theory either or any of them can win it.

    Swing states, like swing voters, are so named because they change (or swing) from voting for one party or candidate to voting for another. The result of this is that they attract a disproportionate amount of attention and campaigning time during elections as the parties focus on the areas that could swing the result their way.

    The term battleground state leans on the idea of politics as a conflict, while purple state derives from the fact that strongly Republican states are known as red states and strongly Democratic ones as blue states: if you mix red and blue you get purple, so a purple state is one that could go either way.

    The main swing states include Colorado, Florida, Iowa, Michigan, Nevada, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia and Wisconsin; some of these are much more populous than others and therefore have far more electoral votes. Six weeks from election day, the polls in some swing states are too close to call. This is turning out to be a nail-biting contest.

    Look out for the next post in this series. You can find past posts on the language of American politics here and here, or search for other posts in this series using the tag US politics.

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  • Language and words in the news – 23rd September, 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 frightened

    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: birther

    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 birther. Although it is not strictly speaking anything to do with the language of the electoral process, the term birther has dominated […]

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  • Language and words in the news – 16th September, 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: to feel something

    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: pivot

    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 pivot. For months now commentators have been asking: Will he or won’t he? Once Donald Trump has secured the Republican nomination, will […]

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  • Translating Shakespeare

    Our second guest post from The Hip-Hop Shakespeare Company is by Mish Jani. THSC is a music theatre production company that explores the social, cultural and linguistic parallels between the works of William Shakespeare and that of modern day hip-hop artists. _____________ There are virtually no other writers in history that we can say have […]

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  • Language and words in the news – 9th September, 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: showing strong feelings

    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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  • Dictionary labels part I: the very informal ‘bawbag’

    In the first of a short series of posts on the labels used in Macmillan Dictionary, Stan Carey looks at how different levels of formality are indicated. A common perception of dictionaries is that they are collections of spellings and definitions. These are certainly major features. You encounter a word you don’t know, or about […]

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  • Language and words in the news – 2nd September, 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: more words for ‘feeling’

    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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  • Posted by ramesh krishnamurthy to Netting, texting, impacting and sheeting through the centuries - more about verbing and nouning on August 17, 2016 i find it easier... and suspect that many language learners may also find it easier... to think like Hoey, and think of words acquiring grammatical functions in context... (rather than of words having a priori membership of any word class)... only corpus concordances can tell us which wordforms are more frequently used in which contexts/phraseologies, and therefore which functions they most frequently acquire... ?

  • Posted by Macmillan Dictionary to Japanese English on August 09, 2016 Hi Mariya. We had a whole month dedicated to Russian English back in 2010. You can find the posts and related material here: http://www.macmillandictionaryblog.com/regional-english/russian-english Korean English is one we haven't got round to yet, and the same goes for SIngaporean and Hong Kong English, though we do add words from all these varieties when we can. Thanks for reading and commenting.

  • Posted by mariya to Japanese English on August 09, 2016 Korean English, please. Hong Kong and Singapore too, plus Russian English. Thank you in advance

  • Posted by Ben Harrow to Language and words in the news – 5th August, 2016 on August 09, 2016 Germanglish has a surprisingly nice ring to it. 'Now Butter by the Fishes', on the other hand, does not. Another lovely post Liz Thanks

  • Posted by Ursula Riches to Pass the serviettes: dictionaries and class on July 29, 2016 Serviette was an Americanism, so i thought. Napkin makes me think of a cloth and serviette makes me think of paper. Napkin is a really cute word and it is very nice to have a cloth instead of a crummy bit of paper. It does feel nice to eat with proper cloth napkins and it feels very civilised. Today many people use kitchen towel. some of them are thicker and better than paper napkins.