Archive for March, 2012

  • Language and words in the news – 30th March 2012

    Posted by on March 30, 2012

    This 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 submit […]

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  • Open Dictionary word of the week: Robin Hood tax

    Posted by on March 29, 2012

    Robin Hood tax (noun) a very small (0.05%) tax on every speculative financial transaction made by banks; also called Tobin tax The Robin Hood Tax is designed to hit only speculative, “casino” trading and not the high street banks used by the public. (Submitted from the United Kingdom) It’s been a taxing past few weeks […]

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  • Language tip of the week: difference

    Posted by on March 29, 2012

    In this weekly post, we bring more useful content from the Macmillan Dictionary to English language learners. These tips are based on areas of English (e.g. spelling, grammar, collocation, synonyms, etc) which learners often find difficult. This week’s language tip helps with the grammatical patterns of the noun difference. When you are talking about a […]

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  • Anything you say may be used against you

    Posted by on March 28, 2012

    In my last post I talked about things you say that actually accomplish something, such as warning, thanking, advising, and the like – and the idea that utterances like this, often formulaic, are called speech acts. A particular division of speech acts are characterized as illocutionary: illocutionary speech acts are ones in which the speaker, […]

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  • When is a lad not a lad?

    Posted by on March 27, 2012

    When he’s a grown man who works in a stable, would seem to be the answer. The Macmillan English Dictionary defines a lad as: ‘a boy or a young man’ or ‘a man who does things thought to be typical of young men, for example drinking a lot of alcohol…’ Put the word stable in […]

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  • Language and words in the news – 23rd March 2012

    Posted by on March 23, 2012

    This 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 submit […]

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  • Whose bright idea was this? Irony and dictionaries

    Posted by on March 22, 2012

    In his recent post on speech acts, Orin made the point that “many of these formulas … can be used to convey a meaning very different from the one they’re usually used for; sometimes just the opposite”. A good example is the expression Yeah, right, which people use to signal that they don’t believe what […]

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  • Open Dictionary reaches 1000th entry

    Posted by on March 22, 2012

    lifelogging (noun) the practice of digitally recording everything you do all the time, for example by wearing a camera that takes photographs every few seconds, keeping all emails etc. For the past seven years, Bell has been conducting an audacious experiment in “lifelogging”–creating a near-total digital record of his experience. (Submitted from the UK) Macmillan’s […]

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  • Five Rules of Thumb for Polite and Diplomatic Language

    Posted by on March 21, 2012

    Our guest blogger Luke Thompson teaches at The London School of English and produces Luke’s English Podcast, which won the Macmillan Dictionary Love English Award for Best Blog 2011. This blog post is about how hedging and indirectness in English can be used to establish a respectful and polite relationship between speakers. This is particularly […]

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  • Poppycock, bunkum and rawmaish

    Posted by on March 20, 2012

    I mentioned the term mumbo-jumbo in my recent survey of reduplication. Claptrap and bunkum (a near-reduplicative) did not feature, but all three are among a great many words the English language has for conveying the idea of nonsense, rubbish, rot, drivel, tripe – you get the picture. Each of these terms has its own nuances, […]

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