Archive for September, 2010

  • English isn’t so scary

    Posted by on September 30, 2010

    When you know the word for something (e.g. obesity), and then see another word that contains the same core elements, it can be a huge help in working out the meaning of the new word, even if, at first glance, it looks really daunting. Take, for example, the many different types of phobia that exist. […]

    Read the full article
  • Look to the future

    Posted by on September 29, 2010

    What is the future of the English language, I wonder? As arguably the pre-eminent linguistic force on the globe, where does it go from here? David Crystal and Stephen Fry discussed the future of English in a recent BBC Radio 4 programme, whilst language experts have been meeting to discuss the fate of the world’s […]

    Read the full article
  • Blisterin’ barnacles! Pirate-talk

    Posted by on September 28, 2010

    Well shiver mi timbers! T’was International Talk Like a Pirate Day t’other day! I have to say I enjoyed communicating pirate-style for a day on the 19th. It’s great to see all ways we can manipulate the English language to represent a particular group in society. So for instance, dere is a kind of street […]

    Read the full article
  • What does our language say about us?

    Posted by on September 28, 2010

    I’ve always found it interesting that in South American Spanish, the word for heaven – ‘cielo’– is also used for sky. This seems to me to reflect the deeply religious nature of society there – any mention of what’s above us automatically includes the sense of us being watched over by a higher being – […]

    Read the full article
  • Australian English slang – part three: originality

    Posted by on September 27, 2010

    From origin to originality … In the first two blog posts about Australian English slang, author Susan Butler explored the roots and British English influences of Aussie slang. In this final part, she answers the question: ‘What makes Australian slang special and original?’. Susan Butler is Publisher of the Macquarie Book of Slang (Revised Edition […]

    Read the full article
  • Language and words in the news – 24th September, 2010

    Posted by on September 24, 2010

    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, and language education too. Do contact us if you would like to submit a link for us to include. […]

    Read the full article
  • Australian English slang – part two: hand-me-downs

    Posted by on September 23, 2010

    In the first part of our short series on Australian English slang, author Susan Butler talked about the origins of Aussie slang. In this second part, she explores the influences of colonial British English. Susan Butler is Publisher of the Macquarie Book of Slang (Revised Edition 2000). ___________ It is not surprising that colonial society in […]

    Read the full article
  • Apostrophe catastrophes and how
    to avoid them

    Posted by on September 22, 2010

    I’ve just followed this link in Kati Sule’s Language and words in the news. There are some pretty funny ones in there, but I have to admit to finding apostrophes a bit tricky myself. My own worst fear is whether and where to stick an apostrophe on a word that ends in ‘s’, like students. […]

    Read the full article
  • Did you really just say that?

    Posted by on September 22, 2010

    English can be a minefield for learners, not just in terms of vocab and grammar, but in more subtle ways, like accidentally offending someone by using a word that on the face of it might seem appropriate, but is actually not. The Macmillan English Dictionary (MED) – online, CD and print – features usage notes […]

    Read the full article
  • Australian English slang – part one: origins

    Posted by on September 21, 2010

    Australian English month continues with a three-part series on the topic of slang. Guest blog author Susan Butler is Publisher of the Macquarie Book of Slang (Revised Edition 2000). Part one takes a look at the origins of Australian slang. ____________ Australians worry about Australian English as a whole being swamped by American English, but when […]

    Read the full article