Archive for June, 2012

  • Language and words in the news – 29th June 2012

    Posted by on June 29, 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 a […]

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  • Open Dictionary word of the week: petaflop

    Posted by on June 28, 2012

    Anybody can add a word and its definition to the Open Dictionary. Every week I choose a word from recent entries to rattle on about. Petaflop is this week’s word. petaflop (noun) a measure of a computer’s processing speed. It can be expressed as a thousand trillion floating point operations per second Its speed? A […]

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  • Language tip of the week: their and there

    Posted by on June 28, 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 confusion between their and there. Don’t confuse their (the possessive form of ‘they’) and […]

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  • Linguistic botany

    Posted by on June 26, 2012

    In his book The Growth and Structure of the English Language, Otto Jespersen said the language was “like an English park, which is laid out seemingly without any definite plan, and in which you are allowed to walk everywhere according to your own fancy without having to fear a stern keeper enforcing rigorous regulations.” For […]

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  • What can language research tell us about the ‘real world’? Part 1

    Posted by on June 25, 2012

    John Williams, our new guest blogger, worked as a lexicographer for COBUILD and later for Macmillan. He is currently a lecturer in English Language and Linguistics at the University of Portsmouth and is particularly interested in lexicography and language study as cultural and social practices. _____________ Last month I participated in a conference at the […]

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  • On Alan Turing – without whom your computer might not exist

    Posted by on June 23, 2012

    If it wasn’t for the British mathematician Alan Turing, who was born 100 years ago today, you probably wouldn’t be reading the Macmillan blog – or any other blog for that matter. Without Turing’s visionary thinking, computers may not have developed as far as they have. A website dedicated to his work describes Turing as […]

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  • Language and words in the news – 22nd June 2012

    Posted by on June 22, 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 a […]

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  • Open Dictionary word of the week: baby box

    Posted by on June 21, 2012

    baby box (noun) a box where where people can leave unwanted babies, who are then cared for by the authorities The United Nations is increasingly concerned at the spread in Europe of “baby boxes” where infants can be secretly abandoned by parents, warning that the practice “contravenes the right of the child to be known […]

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  • Language tip of the week: think

    Posted by on June 21, 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 the patterns that can follow the verb think. The verb think is rarely used […]

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  • Blowing hot and cold

    Posted by on June 20, 2012

    Among the first words that learners of a new language acquire are the words for hot and cold. The concepts are so basic to human experience that we don’t get through a day without many references to them. Hot, cold, and the basic words that are semantically connected with them (such as heat, cool, thaw, […]

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