Archive for May, 2013

  • Language and words in the news – 31st May, 2013

    Posted by on May 31, 2013

    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: bare synonyms

    Posted by on May 30, 2013

    In this weekly post, we bring more useful content from the Macmillan Dictionary to English language learners. These tips are usually based on areas of English which learners find difficult, e.g. spelling, grammar, collocation, synonyms, etc. This week’s language tip helps with key adjectives and adverbs used to describe ‘not wearing any or a particular […]

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  • Stories behind Words: as rare as hen’s teeth

    Posted by on May 29, 2013

    After several months of shopping for increasingly larger neck sizes in shirts, and feeling pleased that my weight-training regime was finally paying off, a routine X-ray revealed my thyroid was growing so much it had turned my trachea into a U-bend. Liking the idea of surgery by the sea, I decided to see a consultant […]

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  • Because I say so!

    Posted by on May 28, 2013

    A few weeks ago, Britain’s Daily Telegraph ran a “Good grammar test”, and the first question was: Which of these sentences is grammatically correct? 1. Do you see who I see? 2. Do you see whom I see? We were supposed to say that whom is correct here – so I fell at the first […]

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  • I now pronounce you … Wait, how do I pronounce you?

    Posted by on May 27, 2013

    As a young boy in primary school I was once asked to read aloud a passage that contained the word fatigue. I had heard the word once or twice but had never seen it in print before, and didn’t make the connection between the faintly familiar sound and the unfamiliar French letter-pattern. So I ploughed […]

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  • Language and words in the news – 24th May, 2013

    Posted by on May 24, 2013

    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: films

    Posted by on May 23, 2013

    In this weekly post, we bring more useful content from the Macmillan Dictionary to English language learners. These tips are usually based on areas of English which learners find difficult, e.g. spelling, grammar, collocation, synonyms, etc. This week’s language tip helps with key words which are used for talking or writing about films. Types of […]

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  • Stories behind Words: oblong

    Posted by on May 22, 2013

    I’m sure I’m not alone in having really enjoyed reading this series so far, and one thing that’s struck me is how often ‘Dads’ seem to feature in people’s anecdotes on lexical encounters. Well, here’s yet another one … My Dad, God rest his soul, was (unlike myself!) never much of a talker. Dad bought […]

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  • Guess who they got to write this blog post? Muggins!

    Posted by on May 21, 2013

    We all know the list of English personal pronouns – I/me, you, he/him, she/her, it, we/us, they/them – but there’s one word that interests me because it seems to have the function of a personal pronoun but has very specific connotations. That word is muggins, which is defined in the Macmillan Dictionary as “used for […]

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  • “Pupils go back in time …”: more on accidental ambiguity

    Posted by on May 20, 2013

    Most verbal humour depends on some kind of mismatch between two words or phrases and the funny or unexpected resolution of this incongruity. My last post focused on a type of grammatical ambiguity that allows two conflicting analyses of a sentence, one of them ridiculous. More often, though, humour and ambiguity play on the multiple […]

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