browse channels
  • Language and words in the news – 27th February, 2015

    Posted by on February 27, 2015

    © Ioannis Kounadeas / Fotolia.comThis 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 for us to include, or just add a comment to the post, with the link(s) you’d like to share.

    Language change and slang

    Louche and louching
    Louche came into English in 1819, but it didn’t mean what it means now.

    Global English

    How do you pronounce “schedule”?
    The pronunciation of the word “schedule” is something that provokes quite virulent debate, with some members of each camp feeling that only theirs is “correct”.

    Improve your English

    One syllable adjectives with comparative ‘more’ instead of -er
    The following monosyllabic adjectives virtually always take the ‘more’ and ‘most’ form instead of the endings -er and -est (note the all-important qualifier ‘virtually’).

    Which or That? Who Cares?
    If you’re a speaker/writer of American English (AmE), these two relative pronouns may well strike terror into your heart. Which one to use? How to keep them straight in your head?

    Language teaching and resources

    The Notebook
    It’s a while since we’ve linked to one of Kieran Donaghy’s lovely film-based lessons, so here’s a pre-intermediate and intermediate level one about doing household chores (well, it’s not really about that).

    From a language point of view, what’s happening in Iraq, Syria, and environs has revived words that have not been common for many years. – See more at: http://www.cjr.org/language_corner/language_corner_063014.php?utm_content=buffer811d0&utm_medium=social&utm_source=twitter.com&utm_campaign=buffer#sthash.WQopCEDs.dpufFrom a language point of view, what’s happening in Iraq, Syria, and environs has revived words that have not been common for many years.From a language point of view, what’s happening in Iraq, Syria, and environs has revived words that have not been common for many years..

    Books, dictionaries, words and language

    Translation matters: The unsung heroes of world literature
    A great piece on translation from the great Anthea Bell.

    Internet slang meets American sign language
    The Deaf community works as a network, collectively brainstorming new sign language terms over the web, until dominant signs emerge.

    Animation

    Noam Chomsky on Language Acquisition
    BBC Radio 4 has some great animations on the History of Ideas. Here’s one narrated by Gillian Anderson on Chomsky’s theory of language acquisition. (Note: other theories of language acquisition are available).

    Quiz

    Language Quiz: Are You on Fleek?
    Another short quiz, this time on internet slang.

    Email this Post Email this Post Comment Here (0)
View all posts
  • Language tip of the week: football

    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, usage, etc. This week’s language tip helps with the differences in how people use the word football in American and […]

    Read the full article
  • Language and words in the news – 21st February, 2015

    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: power

    In this weekly post, we bring more useful content from the Macmillan Dictionary to English language learners. In this series of  language tips we look at how metaphor is used to express some common concepts in English. This week’s tip looks at metaphors used to talk about power: Having power and controlling someone is like […]

    Read the full article
  • And the winners are…

    Over on Macmillan Dictionary we have announced the winners of the Love English Awards 2014! Back in first place, after winning the award for Best Website two years ago, is Hungarian website 5 Perc Angol (5-Minute English)! They narrowly missed out on winning Best Facebook page, by coming second after Mastering Grammar, who won the […]

    Read the full article
  • Real Grammar Quiz, Question 6: Is it OK to use “they” when referring to a singular person?

    Real Grammar isn’t about the made-up or outdated “rules” which some people try to make us follow. As we said in the introduction to this new series from Macmillan Dictionary, Real Grammar is based on the evidence of language in use. In the coming months, we’ll be bringing you blog posts and videos that give evidence-based answers to frequently asked questions about grammar and […]

    Read the full article
  • Numb-headed numbnuts, ninnies and Numskulls

    Macmillan’s crowd-sourced Open Dictionary is a great place to keep an eye on new words and niche vocabulary. It has a marvellous variety of novel phrases, slang, specialist terms, vogue words, regionalisms and other items not used often enough or widely enough to be considered core vocabulary – though any that shift towards mainstream use […]

    Read the full article
  • Language and words in the news – 14th February, 2015

    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
  • Unlucky for some?

    Do you walk round ladders rather than under them? touch wood to ward off bad luck? throw salt over your shoulder if you spill some? feel that you will have a good or bad day because a black cat crosses your path? If the answer to any of these questions is yes then you’re probably […]

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

    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, usage, etc. This week’s language tip helps with the differences in how people use the word class in American and […]

    Read the full article
  • Describing relationships with the love-thermometer

    In our daily #guesstheword challenge on Facebook and Twitter, we post a definition and ask people to guess the word or phrase we’re looking for. Last week, we asked our audience to match the word to this definition: “to love someone very much, often so much that you do not notice their faults” It’s a […]

    Read the full article
  • Language and words in the news – 6th February, 2015

    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: angry

    In this weekly post, we bring more useful content from the Macmillan Dictionary to English language learners. In this series of  language tips we look at how metaphor is used to express some common concepts in English. This week’s tip looks at metaphors used to talk about being angry: Being angry is like being hot […]

    Read the full article

Recent Comments

Recent Comments
  • Posted by Saskia to Describing relationships with the love-thermometer on February 26, 2015 Thanks for your feedback, Jason. Doing them per level is a good idea and one that we'll look into. Meanwhile, keep an eye on this blog and www.macmillandictionary.com ... more infographics coming soon!

  • Posted by Michael Rundell to Real Grammar Quiz, Question 6: Is it OK to use "they" when referring to a singular person? on February 24, 2015 Thanks Jonathan: stalking people with a microphone may be a bit extreme, but it has been proven that there is often a difference between what people *think* they say and what they actually do say when they're not thinking about it. On your second point: the use of "they" feels more natural in relation to indefinite pronouns (like someone, anyone) than when the antecedent is a singular noun (like your example of "winner"). So, like most...

  • Posted by Jason to Describing relationships with the love-thermometer on February 22, 2015 I love this infographics. I think it'd be even better if you could create one according to different levels - A1/B1/C1. That would be very useful! This is the first time I've heard "have a nodding acquaintance with someone"!

  • Posted by Jonathan Marks to Real Grammar Quiz, Question 6: Is it OK to use "they" when referring to a singular person? on February 21, 2015 The question "Is it better ...?" could usefully be divided into three: 1 Do you think it's better to say X or Y? 2 Do (you believe that) you personally say X or Y? 3 Do you personally - actually, really - say X or Y? Number 3 would be interesting, especially in contrast with number 1, but could only be answered by stalking people with a microphone. Consider this scenario ..... A: Look! There's someone on that roof over there! B: So...

  • Posted by staveley to Long finger on February 18, 2015 mear is the irish for 'swift' also 'finger'. to tell someone that will be done 'mear' but not emphasizing 'fada', which means long, is a way of giving a mixed message. this morphed into english as long finger. it really means 'long swift' ie not swift at all!