Archive for April, 2011

  • Malfunctions, misdemeanours, metaphors

    Posted by on April 29, 2011

    Here’s an intriguing sentence from last Sunday’s Observer newspaper: “Madonna is constantly on the naughty step for alleged ‘mutton misdemeanours’ while posing with Lourdes.” It’s common to need a little cultural information in order to decipher things we read in the papers – but this sentence takes some beating. The article is poking fun at […]

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  • Metaphor can make your eyes water

    Posted by on April 27, 2011

    The final week of metaphorical English month brings you a guest post by Martin Shovel, a writer, animator and communications expert with a special interest in new media and social networking. He writes regularly about language and communication on his own CreativityWorks blog and is a contributor to the Guardian’s Mind Your Language blog. He […]

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  • Hopefully disinterested

    Posted by on April 26, 2011

    Words are slippery. Their meanings can mutate and multiply, differing according to where and how they are used. The word defence, for instance, will suggest different things to a sportsperson, a psychologist, a lawyer, a doctor, and a military strategist. Our relationship with a given word depends on our history with it and what it […]

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  • Language and words in the news – 22nd April, 2011

    Posted by on April 22, 2011

    This post contains a selection of links related to recent 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 […]

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  • Teaching metaphor tip of the day: language awareness

    Posted by on April 22, 2011

    We use metaphors almost every time we write or speak, often without realizing it. Becoming aware of how language works – a process known as ‘language awareness’ – is an essential part of successful language learning. Here are two ways in which awareness of metaphor can help you to increase your understanding of how English […]

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  • Teaching metaphor tip of the day: field

    Posted by on April 21, 2011

    The Metaphor Boxes in Macmillan English Dictionary deal with groups of words and phrases that all share the same key idea. However, there are many other metaphors and metaphorical uses in English that do not belong to groups like this. Many of these are shown in the Macmillan English Dictionary, at individual headwords. Others are […]

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  • It’s easy to get the wrong end of the stick

    Posted by on April 21, 2011

    Our next guest post in metaphorical English months comes from Frank Boers, an expert in the field of metaphor, phraseology and second language acquisition. He is Associate Professor at the School of Linguistics and Applied Language Studies at Victoria University of Wellington in New Zealand. ____________ I remember that as a teenager learning English as […]

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  • Teaching metaphor tip of the day: quantity

    Posted by on April 20, 2011

    Look at the Metaphor Box for quantity in Macmillan Dictionary. 1 Can you think of other words and phrases that express the same metaphorical ideas as the ones we have shown? 2 Now think of how you could refer to increases and decreases in quantities or amounts without using any metaphorical meanings. Note: the answers […]

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  • Dirty tricks and honest metaphors

    Posted by on April 20, 2011

    “I want to be straight with you. To come clean. It’s time I washed my hands of this whole stinking business. How could I have sunk to such depths? From now on, it’ll be total transparency with me – everything on the level. No more creeping in the gutter, doing some low-down dirt-heel’s dirty work.” […]

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  • Metaphor teaching tip of the day: computer words

    Posted by on April 19, 2011

    Computer metaphors When new words are needed in order to describe things that did not exist before, they are often created by means of metaphor. With the growth of computer technology, we need words to describe many new objects and activities – and most of these new words have been produced metaphorically. Although a website […]

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