Archive for June, 2013

  • Language and words in the news – 28th June, 2013

    Posted by on June 28, 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: responsibility

    Posted by on June 27, 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 the noun responsibility: Notice the spelling of responsibility, which is spelled with an […]

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  • Stories behind Words: home

    Posted by on June 26, 2013

    A large map of the world hangs on the wall next to my dining table. It features numerous coloured pins marking significant places in the lives of friends who visit: blue for upcoming trips, yellow for where they have lived, white for a dream holiday. But it is what red pins signify that is the […]

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  • Love and bagels in southwest London

    Posted by on June 25, 2013

    Here in the UK, it’s Wimbledon time again. Tennis has its own vocabulary, and – as in many sublanguages – much of it consists of specialized meanings of common, everyday words (like game, set, serve, break, and advantage). But a few terms are more or less exclusive to tennis. A recent addition (so new that […]

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  • Fossil words of yore in the offing

    Posted by on June 24, 2013

    At some point we’ve all given someone short shrift, or they’ve given us short shrift, meaning “a firm and immediate refusal to do something in a sympathetic way”. Apart from this transaction, though, we’ve probably never done anything else with shrift – Macmillan Dictionary’s definition shows that it normally appears only in that sole phrase. […]

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  • Language and words in the news – 21st June, 2013

    Posted by on June 21, 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: arrive

    Posted by on June 21, 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 the verb arrive: The verb arrive is never used with the preposition to: […]

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  • An old dictionary, and a simple solution to an annoying problem

    Posted by on June 20, 2013

    Michael Rundell has convincingly put the case for digital dictionaries, and I use them regularly and appreciate the benefits they bring. But I’ve also got shelves full of printed dictionaries – this still strikes me as an odd collocation, though it’s obviously needed! – and I don’t intend to stop using them, any more than […]

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  • Stories behind Words: avoska

    Posted by on June 19, 2013

    Whenever I go out, I take an avoska with me, just in case I spot something I might want to buy. But first, a little background. Back in the days of the USSR, when Russia was one of fifteen Soviet Republics, there were frequent shortages of consumer goods. So when a particular item arrived in […]

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  • Stop asking silly questions!

    Posted by on June 18, 2013

    In my last post I mentioned a Telegraph poll which asked innocently: Does grammar matter? Other, equally unanswerable questions are floating around the media, like Is good grammar still important? (why ‘still’?) and Just how bad is bad grammar? I couldn’t say, lacking any appropriate measure of ‘badness’ – it sounds like something from a […]

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