Archive for November, 2010

  • Tell me a story …

    Posted by on November 30, 2010

    I have just become part of the Ministry of Stories. This is a new initiative to encourage and promote the art of storytelling and provide a hub for old stories to be shared and new ones created. Literacy levels in the UK are falling and the MoS has been launched to reverse this worrying trend. As far […]

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  • What a colourful language!

    Posted by on November 30, 2010

    Another week, another look around the archive and another reminder of some excellent posts we’ve had on this blog about colourful, inventive uses of language. Enjoy! Don’t tell the parents! I love this blog from aggslanguage, which illustrates the different forms of slang used across Britain, and tries to explain this teenage lexicon to baffled […]

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  • DON’T SHOUT!

    Posted by on November 30, 2010

    Getting students to apply emphasis correctly in their writing can be a tricky one, especially now that we have so many ‘new’ methods of communication – like texting, email and instant messaging – to confuse the issue. Punctuation-wise there’s the exclamation mark, and we can also use inverted commas, as I did with ‘new’, indicating […]

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  • Where has grammar been hiding all these years?

    Posted by on November 29, 2010

    The UK’s conservative newspapers were thrilled last week when Michael Gove, the education minister, announced a crackdown on ‘incorrect’ English – leading the Daily Mail to rejoice that ‘Grammar is back!’. (Where has it been, one wonders?) In future, students will be penalised for ‘poor spelling, punctuation and grammar’. But who decides what is ‘correct’? […]

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  • Elementary, my dear Watson

    Posted by on November 29, 2010

    I have to confess, I like a good detective story, as long as there’s something unusual about the method of investigation, so Vicki Hollett’s recent blog on forensic inguistics caught my eye. I’m actually a fan of both of the TV shows she mentions, as well as ones with, respectively, a deaf FBI agent, a […]

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  • Language and words in the news – 26th November, 2010

    Posted by on November 26, 2010

    This weekly 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. Please do contact us if you would like to submit […]

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  • Bookworm and proud of it

    Posted by on November 26, 2010

    I’ve talked before about my views on books and reading, both as a language learner and as a native speaker. You know how much I enjoy going back to re-read my old friends, the pleasure of finding new and exciting elements that had previously passed me by. I’ll even sometimes do it with books I […]

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  • A rose by any other name …

    Posted by on November 25, 2010

    Beware giving things temporary names unless you really like them – they could wind up being permanent! Last week’s roundup post included an article on how world wide web was only ever intended as a ‘working title’. Luckily, it was appropriate, everyone liked it and it stuck, but things could have been very different. It’s […]

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  • Political calling? Listening closely
    to politicians …

    Posted by on November 25, 2010

    This week Dawn Nell, the second in a series of guest bloggers who are contributing to this blog over a two-week period, is looking at the ways that you (users) search Macmillan Dictionary. Dawn, who has written before on this blog, is an historian and blogger, working on the history of publishing. She was born […]

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  • Correct or incorrect?

    Posted by on November 24, 2010

    Another popular theme on this blog is change in the English language which somehow seems to get under people’s skin. Here is a selection of archived posts around this topic: Netting, texting, impacting and sheeting through the centuries – more about verbing and nouning Multiple word-class membership is an essential part of the character of […]

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