browse channels
View all posts
  • Language tip of the week: to disappoint someone

    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 aardvark to Zulu: recent developments in South African English

    Our latest guest post is by Jill Wolvaardt, the Executive Director of the Dictionary Unit for South African English. The unit, based at Rhodes University in Grahamstown, has been collecting and recording English as it is used in South Africa since 1969. Jill and her colleagues have been working with us recently to improve the […]

    Read the full article
  • Language and words in the news – 20th May, 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
  • Real Vocabulary Quiz, Question 9: can “momentarily” mean “soon” or “in a moment”?

    Our Real Grammar series showed how the evidence of language in use often undermines or contradicts the made-up or outdated “rules” which some people insist on.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. ______________ […]

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

    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
  • US election word of the week: the GOP

    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 the GOP. The GOP, pronounced by saying the individual letters, is a familiar name for the US Republican Party. Here’s what Wikipedia […]

    Read the full article
  • Language and words in the news – 13th May, 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: feeling disappointed

    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
  • US election word of the week: front-runner

    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 front-runner. Until last week, the front-runners in the contest for the US Presidential nominations were Donald Trump for the Republicans and Hillary […]

    Read the full article
  • Language and words in the news – 6th May, 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: 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 […]

    Read the full article
  • 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 […]

    Read the full article

Recent Comments

Recent Comments
  • 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."

  • 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...