Archive for January, 2013

  • Going digital: Questions and Answers

    Posted by on January 31, 2013

    We had a question-and-answer session on Facebook on Wednesday (January 30th), on the subject of online dictionaries. It was a great opportunity to have a conversation with the people who use the Macmillan Dictionary, and to learn more about their concerns and about what they’d like to see in their dictionary. Well over 1400 people […]

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  • Language tip of the week: person

    Posted by on January 31, 2013

    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 person: The usual plural form of person is people (not persons), and […]

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  • Live Facebook Q&A with editor-in-chief Michael Rundell

    Posted by on January 29, 2013

    Our announcement at the end of last year, that we’ll no longer be printing dictionaries in favour of our online dictionary, generated a lot of conversation and speculation in the national and international press. Many of you celebrated our move from print to online, though some shared concerns about leaving the era of print behind. […]

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  • Made in America? That’s so not an easy question

    Posted by on January 28, 2013

    Today I’d like to focus on another informal frame, or sequence, which was brought to my attention by a message printed on a brightly-coloured shopping bag in a shop window: “I SO DON’T HAVE ENOUGH STUFF”. Let’s assume that this is a meaningful message, and that the ‘I’ of the confession is a bag-toting shopper, […]

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  • Were the Luddites really luddites?

    Posted by on January 25, 2013

    Old-fashioned is a tricky word for lexicographers. It has only one meaning, but several possible interpretations (or ‘readings’, as linguists often call them). This is reflected in the Macmillan Dictionary’s entry, which starts with a neutral definition (‘no longer modern or fashionable’) but goes on to indicate that old-fashioned can have both positive and negative […]

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  • Mansplaining the new-word-pocalypse

    Posted by on January 24, 2013

    Last month I examined the newly popular phrase fiscal cliff, a contender for the various Words of the Year traditionally announced every winter. The main such event is the American Dialect Society’s, which took place earlier this month. Its full list of nominated words and other “vocabulary items” in different categories is always worth reading, […]

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  • Love English Awards – winners

    Posted by on January 22, 2013

    This is the moment you’ve all been waiting for. All votes for the Love English Awards 2012 have been counted and since the competition started in November we’ve received a whopping 18,236 votes from language enthusiasts all over the world. So, which blog and website are the most popular English language blog/website of 2012? The […]

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  • New Year’s resolution: no adverbs

    Posted by on January 17, 2013

    Nouns are what the world is made of. Verbs are how you put them together. Adjectives are straightforward. And adverbs are … monsters. Try this exercise: go through a piece of writing, ideally an essay of your own. Delete all adverbs and adverbial phrases, all those  “surprisingly”, “interestingly”, “very”, “extremely”, fortunately”, “on the other hand”, […]

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  • The Macmillan Dictionary Love English Awards – update 6

    Posted by on January 16, 2013

    Here it is, the final update before the competition closes at midnight GMT on the 21st. That’s 6 days left to vote! An additional 5,511 votes have been received in the last 7 days, bringing the total number of votes cast since the competition began to 9,111. Thank you for participating and continuing to show […]

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  • “How adjective is that? Very adjective, I’d say”

    Posted by on January 14, 2013

    We welcome back Gill Francis whose insightful blog posts last year attracted lively conversation. Gill will be contributing to the Macmillan Dictionary Blog even more regularly this year: she will share the ‘Monday spot’ with Stan Carey. Gill is a freelance language consultant and writer of resources for teachers and learners of English. ____________ People […]

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