Archive for September, 2012

  • Language and words in the news – 28th September 2012

    Posted by on September 28, 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 link […]

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  • Proud to be a pleb?

    Posted by on September 27, 2012

    Since the Tory chief whip Andrew Mitchell’s unwise – and much disputed – outburst to a Downing Street police officer last week, the word ‘pleb’ has been all over the news. So it’s not surprising that lookups of the word on MEDO have soared, with a peak of over 2,000% of the usual number on […]

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  • Language tip of the week: maybe and perhaps

    Posted by on September 27, 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. Here is some advice about using the adverbs maybe and perhaps: Don’t confuse the adverb maybe (one word), which […]

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  • Pasta is Life

    Posted by on September 25, 2012

    Food terms borrowed from other languages tend to arrive intact, or undergo as little change as possible to still be comprehensible in the second language. As well as providing novelty and diversion for menu readers, this practice can be a real boon to English learners. A stroll down the pasta aisle of the supermarket can […]

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  • The wisdom of crowds: can it work for dictionaries?

    Posted by on September 24, 2012

    Crowd-sourcing refers to a ‘distributed’ method for solving problems or completing complex tasks, where large numbers of people contribute their time, knowledge and expertise in a collaborative way. The term was coined in 2006 – as I learned when re-reading Kerry Maxwell’s interesting ‘Buzzword’ article on it, written when the word was still quite new. An […]

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  • Language and words in the news – 21st September 2012

    Posted by on September 21, 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: rubberneck

    Posted by on September 20, 2012

    rubberneck (verb) to stand on one’s toes in a crowd of ardent admirers to see a celebrity passing by Surely he meant to say that “celebrity drivel and rubbernecking are what drive our site”. (Submitted by: Matti Salonen from Finland) Actually we have this word in the main dictionary but with this definition: to look […]

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  • Language tip of the week: capable

    Posted by on September 20, 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. Here is some advice about the patterns that follow the adjective capable: The adjective capable is never followed by […]

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  • On the metaphor of sock puppets

    Posted by on September 18, 2012

    Last week’s Open Dictionary word of the week was sock puppetry, defined by a reader as the act of “writing very flattering reviews of one’s own book on sites such as Amazon, but using a different name…”. It’s in the news at the moment because some popular authors were found to have used the tactic […]

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  • Hunting for lexical blends – the computational way

    Posted by on September 17, 2012

    Our guest blogger today is Paul Cook, who works  in the Department of Computing and Information Systems at the University of Melbourne. His cross-disciplinary research in computational linguistics considers new ways in which computational methods can be used to study language and identify new words and meanings. How do lexicographers find new words to consider […]

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