Archive for September, 2013

  • An idiom that has its cake and eats it

    Posted by on September 30, 2013

    In a recent post defending the expression I could care less, I wrote that idioms do not hinge on logic, and expecting them to make literal sense is futile. But it can be hard to ward off the instinctive wish that language align better with common sense. Another example of this is have your cake […]

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  • Back to school tips and tricks: improving and keeping up

    Posted by on September 26, 2013

    Next in our Back to school tricks and tips series. These posts are for our English language learners and are meant to be entertaining as well as helpful. Let me know what you think, or share your stories on Macmillan Dictionary’s Learn English Facebook page or in comments at the end of these posts. Happy […]

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  • Stories behind Words: keirin

    Posted by on September 25, 2013

    It is a little more than a year since the London Olympics and Paralympics thrilled even those whose usual reaction to competitive sport is to ignore it completely. Inspired by stellar performances from British athletes, people who could hardly tell one end of a hockey stick from the other swiftly became experts in the intricacies […]

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  • Going mainstream

    Posted by on September 24, 2013

    In 1964, scientists predicted the existence of an elementary particle which could explain why some particles have mass. It later became known as the Higgs boson, and in March 2013 researchers working at the European Organization for Nuclear Research (better known as CERN) announced that they had found evidence which (probably) confirmed its existence. But […]

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  • Word roots and routes: route

    Posted by on September 23, 2013

    Next in a series of posts exploring some of the ‘roots‘ and ‘routes‘ of English vocabulary. A route, etymologically, starts as an indentation, or rut, made by a wheel as it breaks into the surface of the ground it travels across. The word rut goes back to the Latin past participle rupta, meaning broken, and […]

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  • Language and words in the news – 20th September, 2013

    Posted by on September 20, 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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  • Back to school tricks and tips: plain English

    Posted by on September 19, 2013

    Next in our Back to school tricks and tips series. These posts are for our English language learners and are meant to be entertaining as well as helpful. Let me know what you think, or share your stories on Macmillan Dictionary’s Learn English Facebook page or in comments at the end of these posts. Happy […]

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  • Stories behind Words: red line

    Posted by on September 18, 2013

    If you saw a line would you cross it? To do so might have serious consequences, as Chandler discovered when he kissed Joey’s girlfriend in series 4 of Friends: Chandler: I have no excuses. I was totally over the line. Joey: Over the line? You … you … you’re so far past the line that […]

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  • An FYI on acronyms

    Posted by on September 16, 2013

    Last month I described how technological change has led to many entries being revised in Macmillan Dictionary’s recent update. A particular example of how this change manifests is through acronyms and initialisms. It’s worth clarifying the difference between these. Acronyms are new words formed from the initial letters (or parts) of a series of words, […]

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  • Language and words in the news – 13th September, 2013

    Posted by on September 13, 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 […]

    Read the full article