Archive for April, 2012

  • Looking up “albeit”

    Posted by on April 30, 2012

    One of the interesting things about English, and other languages too, for that matter, is that a relatively small number of words account for a large percentage of everything we read or hear (or say or write). The most frequent 100 words account for about 45%, and the most frequent 7,500 account for about 90%. […]

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  • Language and words in the news – 27th April 2012

    Posted by on April 27, 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: hat-tip

    Posted by on April 26, 2012

    We are constantly monitoring the language to ensure that we keep an up-to-date record.  You can be a part of this enterprise by suggesting a word for our Open Dictionary. Every Thursday Laine Redpath-Cole picks a new entry and goes on about it for a bit. This week’s word is: hat-tip (noun) an acknowledgement by […]

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  • Language tip of the week: Corp. or corps?

    Posted by on April 26, 2012

    In this weekly post, we bring English language learners useful tips on tricky areas of the language. 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 is about the differences in pronunciation between Corp. and corps. Here in the UK, there […]

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  • An omnipresent omnishambles

    Posted by on April 25, 2012

    Every Wednesday here in the UK, we are treated to a piece of political theatre known as ‘Prime Minister’s questions’ or PMQs. For half an hour, the Prime Minster is obliged to answer questions from other MPs, and the traditional highlight of this event is a verbal skirmish between the PM and the Leader of […]

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  • Compound fractures

    Posted by on April 24, 2012

    Though it has never been discovered, there must be, resting somewhere on the floor of the Atlantic Ocean, a box of words that lost their way in the perilous journey from British to American English, or in some cases, in the reverse direction. This would handily explain the disparities among a number of compound terms […]

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  • Language and words in the news – 20th April 2012

    Posted by on April 20, 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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  • How do you like your stake?

    Posted by on April 20, 2012

    2012 is turning out to be quite a year for anniversaries, with those of the birth of Charles Dickens and the sinking of the Titanic already past, and Robert Browning and Alan Turing still to come. Today is the centenary of the death of the Irish writer Bram Stoker, author of one of the most […]

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  • Open Dictionary word of the week: milquetoast … and Count Dracula

    Posted by on April 19, 2012

    milquetoast (noun) a man who is timid and unassertive The lack of masculine courage and willpower is quickly turning America’s men into milquetoasts. Where are the Patrick Henrys, the George Pattons, the Teddy Roosevelts, the Andy Jacksons, or the Harry Trumans today? (Submitted from the United Kingdom) My son is currently obsessed with eating food […]

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  • Language tip of the week: whether or if?

    Posted by on April 19, 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 is about the differences in use between whether and if. Both whether and if can […]

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