Archive for December, 2012

  • A year in the Macmillan Dictionary Blog: highlights of 2012

    Posted by on December 31, 2012

    Back at the beginning of 2012, a throwaway remark by Madonna sent readers hurrying to the Macmillan Dictionary. Commenting on a song by Lady Gaga, Madonna said ‘It feels reductive’, and when asked to clarify, she just smiled and said ‘Look it up’. Thousands of people did, making reductive our most looked-up word in January. […]

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  • Try to get over “try and”

    Posted by on December 27, 2012

    If you try and think of a phrase that’s common in speech but often criticised in writing, you might come up with one I’ve just used: try and. It may seem innocuous because many of us use it as a normal, everyday idiom, but in formal writing try to is usually preferred. So there’s a […]

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  • 10 most popular posts in 2012

    Posted by on December 24, 2012

    It’s been another vintage year here on Macmillan Dictionary Blog, and as tradition dictates, at the end of December, we take a look back through the year’s extensive archive and bring you the 10 most popular blogs posts published in 2012. A quick look through the list shows how varied the content of these posts […]

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  • Lost or found in translation

    Posted by on December 22, 2012

    Recently, we saw a lot of searches for the word bumbler. There was a massive spike which lasted about a week towards the end of November. The reason, it turned out, was an article in the Economist magazine about the President of Taiwan, Ma Ying-jeou. ‘The country appears to agree on one thing’ wrote the […]

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  • Language tip of the week: tell

    Posted by on December 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 which learners often find difficult, e.g. spelling, grammar, collocation, synonyms, etc. This week some advice about the verb tell: Unlike the verb say, the verb tell is usually used with […]

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  • The Macmillan Dictionary Love English Awards – update 3

    Posted by on December 19, 2012

    Love English Awards nominations close in 2 days! What would be a better Christmas present than receiving a Best Blog or Best Website nomination badge for your English Language site? That’s right, people, make sure that your favourite blog and website don’t miss out this year, and nominate them now to let them know that […]

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  • Feeling used

    Posted by on December 17, 2012

    A new friend of mine is an equine-assisted therapist. After I revealed to him my almost-as-obscure profession (lexicographer) we found common ground in talking about a usage that particularly bothered him and that he was always at pains to correct. He said that newcomers to his profession, whether as clients or trainees, were inclined to […]

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  • Language and words in the news – 14th December, 2012

    Posted by on December 14, 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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  • Language tip of the week: influence

    Posted by on December 13, 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 which learners often find difficult, e.g. spelling, grammar, collocation, synonyms, etc. This week some advice about the noun influence: The usual preposition that follows the noun influence is on. Don’t […]

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  • The Macmillan Dictionary Love English Awards – update 2

    Posted by on December 12, 2012

    Have you nominated your favourite English language blog and website? Our Love English competition is now in its second week and we have received a whopping 46 nominations so far: 26 entries for best blog and 20 entries for best website, to be precise! So, which English language blog and website have caught people’s eyes? […]

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