Archive for November, 2009

  • Horrible Americanisms?

    Posted by on November 30, 2009

    One of our readers – Trauma Queen – made a good point about global Englishes when commenting on Sarah McKeown’s recent blog about the expression “I’m lovin’ it”. Her question: Who decides what is “good” or “correct” English when the way it is spoken differs from country to country? raises some tricky issues about the […]

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  • Language and words in the news – 27 November, 2009

    Posted by on November 27, 2009

    This post contains a weekly 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 and language change. Please contact us if you would like to submit a link for us to include. Global English Millions of […]

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  • Putpocket – language and words in the news

    Posted by on November 26, 2009

    Putpocket is the new BuzzWord this week on Macmillan Dictionary. If you, like me a few years ago, have been pickpocketed in the past, you will welcome the new phenomenon called putpocketing and its perpetrator, the putpocket, or put-pocketer, who instead of taking money out of your pocket or bag will put money in without you realising it. […]

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  • A quick post to make you smile halfway through the weak …

    Posted by on November 25, 2009

    Proofreading used to be done by humans, who would mark up pages of manuscript with weird and arcane marks. These days, lots of people rely on the spellcheckers that come with whatever wordprocessing package is on their computer. There’s a well-known poem  which highlights the pitfalls of over-reliance on spell checkers. And here’s Taylor Mali […]

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  • Casting a spell on English (part four)

    Posted by on November 24, 2009

    When you’re looking for a word that you’ve heard, or only half-remember having ever seen, it can be tricky using a paper dictionary. You might look up shedule, not realising that there’s a C involved; or if you want to make a clamour you might look for a claxon (though what you really need is […]

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  • Are you lovin’ it?

    Posted by on November 23, 2009

    If you’re an English grammar aficionado – and even if you’re not – brace yourself, I’m afraid I’ve got some bad news. Actually, I think you should sit down for this; I’m going to break it to you in stages. You’re already sitting down? OK, you might want to clench your buttocks or squeeze an […]

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  • Language and words in the news – 20 November, 2009

    Posted by on November 20, 2009

    This post contains a weekly 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 and language change. Please contact us if you would like to submit a link for us to include. Global English Steve Cameron: […]

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  • Phantonym – language and words in the news

    Posted by on November 19, 2009

    Phantonym is the new BuzzWord this week on Macmillan Dictionary. Last week Michael Rundell, in the context of what 21st century lexicographers do, discussed the way in which words such as disinterested are defined in dictionaries. There is in fact a name for such words and that is no other than phantonym. Here are some […]

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  • Dude, where’s my definition?

    Posted by on November 18, 2009

    Is there a single word that you use in normal conversation that can define what sort of person you are? Apparently, I am defined by my regular usage of the word ‘dude’. I was recently introduced to a friend of a friend. I greeted this person with a friendly ‘Hi Dude, how’s it going?’ The […]

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  • Saying dates

    Posted by on November 17, 2009

    I have recently been asked why we say years the way we do. Why, for example, do we say nineteen hundred (1900) but two thousand (2000)? The recently released film 2012 (pronounced twenty twelve) has highlighted this question. ‘What will happen in the 22nd century?’, the questioner continued. ‘Will we be saying twenty one hundred […]

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