Archive for May, 2012

  • Open Dictionary word of the week: gender-neutral

    Posted by on May 31, 2012

    gender-neutral (adjective) 1. gender-neutral language does not refer specifically to males or females and so can be used when talking about either sex The ‘singular’ use of they, them, and themselves partly solves the problems raised by the lack of a gender-neutral pronoun in English. 2. relating to policies or ideas that seek to avoid […]

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  • Language tip of the week: funny

    Posted by on May 31, 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 tip is about different ways of saying that someone or something is funny. amusing fairly funny, in […]

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  • Bloggers’ Questions #3

    Posted by on May 30, 2012

    This month’s question isn’t an uncommon one, but it always provides interesting responses and a lot of debate: What word exists in English that you have found to be missing in whatever other language you speak (or in your native language) or/and what word exists in that other language that is missing in English? Here […]

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  • How’s your txtng style?

    Posted by on May 29, 2012

    How does the language you use in text messages differ from your email style, and from your prose in more formal contexts? This is something to which I’ve been paying more attention since reading David Crystal’s book Txtng: The gr8 db8, which examines text language and refutes complaints that it’s an indication of illiteracy, laziness, […]

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  • Language and words in the news – 25th May 2012

    Posted by on May 25, 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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  • Language tip of the week: capability

    Posted by on May 25, 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. Following the previous language tip about the patterns that follow the noun possibility, here are some more patterns for […]

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  • Is there a case for the pronoun “themself”?

    Posted by on May 23, 2012

    In April this year, Bristol City Council distributed a leaflet in the run-up to the referendum on whether voters would like a directly elected Mayor (as in London). They inform us that: The elected Mayor would be in addition to the 70 elected councillors, and would not be a councillor themselves. The reflexive pronoun themselves […]

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  • The “the” that threw the thing off

    Posted by on May 22, 2012

    Followers of news stories may have been amused to learn recently that a lawyer defending a corrupt U.S. politician (John Edwards, a former senator and one-time aspiring presidential candidate) introduced an argument that calls into question the meaning of ‘the’ in the phrase ‘for the purpose of’. Learners of English, who may struggle with the […]

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  • Language and words in the news – 18th May 2012

    Posted by on May 18, 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: zugzwang

    Posted by on May 17, 2012

    zugzwang (noun) in a game such as chess, a player is in zugzwang when it is their turn to move and whatever move they make will leave them in a weaker position The Spanish debt-drama shows that Europe is in Zugzwang – a situation in chess when there is no useful move – every possible […]

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