Archive for January, 2011

  • Something to tickle you…

    Posted by on January 31, 2011

    This article from a recent Language and words in the news caught my eye. It talks about the most annoying marketing words used today, and let’s face it, there are plenty of them. I have a particular vested interest here, though, because I used to work in marketing, and even though it was many years […]

    Read the full article
  • Hello? Hi? Oh dear…

    Posted by on January 28, 2011

    How do you start off your emails, and do you always feel comfortable doing it that way? The question of whether to use ‘Dear’, ‘Hi’ or just the person’s name has come up many times, most recently here. It’s certainly a tricky one. ‘Hi’ sounds too informal in many cases, but ‘Dear’ seems overly formal […]

    Read the full article
  • Thermosemantic

    Posted by on January 27, 2011

    Check out my new word, ‘thermosemantic’. I’ve just created it to explain the sudden rash of meaningless catchphrases and soundbites coming from our British politicians at the moment. I can see what they’re trying to achieve – they want to classify the British electorate into nice little sections that can be fed the political messages the politicians think […]

    Read the full article
  • Priceless!

    Posted by on January 26, 2011

    Some words seem like they’ve been designed specifically to confuse the learner. Take priceless, for instance. Learners could be forgiven for thinking (as I did as a child) that priceless means ‘having no value’. If you can’t put a price on something, that must surely mean that it isn’t worth anything? But, of course, priceless […]

    Read the full article
  • Words on your mind – fun-filled

    Posted by on January 25, 2011

    In this post (my second on ‘words on your mind’), I see that you have all been out having a great time without me again. You gave yourselves away by so many of you searching for the term fun-filled in Macmillan Dictionary recently. Fun-filled is a lovely compound adjective used to describe something that is […]

    Read the full article
  • From sea to sea

    Posted by on January 24, 2011

    The discussion of Canadian English here on this blog continues with a guest post by Shauna Rae, a radio and television personality, freelance writer and social media blogger, based in Ontario, Canada. __________ “A mari usque ad mare“, on Canada’s coat of arms, translates “From sea to sea”. This refers to the fact that Canada […]

    Read the full article
  • Long live the thesaurus!

    Posted by on January 21, 2011

    This week’s Friday round-up post features two items about thesauri (or shall I say thesauruses? It appears I’m not alone with this kind of plural problem. Toyota is still undecided and is asking people to vote on the plural of Prius). The first bit of news this week was Thesaurus Day on 18th January, and […]

    Read the full article
  • Language and words in the news – 21st January, 2011

    Posted by on January 21, 2011

    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. Feel free to contact us if you would like to […]

    Read the full article
  • Is Alay your ally?

    Posted by on January 20, 2011

    Alay is a way of writing that allows you to use capital letters and numbers wherever you jolly well like in a word and it’s currently trending on Twitter. Alay started in Indonesia in about 2004; it seems that it has provided a root for a phenomenon that pervades many areas of popular culture, such as fashion […]

    Read the full article
  • In search of fluency

    Posted by on January 19, 2011

    English is full of set phrases and idioms, and the more of these a student knows and can confidently use, the more fluent he or she will sound. As the meaning of an idiom often cannot be correctly guessed just from the words themselves, however, idioms need to be learnt as a whole. To help […]

    Read the full article