Archive for November, 2013

  • Language and words in the news – 29th November, 2013

    Posted by on November 29, 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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  • Open Dictionary word of the month: shelfie

    Posted by on November 29, 2013

    The word of the month for November will of course have to be shelfie. If you are here reading this blog then you are probably a fan of words, and whether you’re learning English or are an old pro you’ll probably be aware that Oxford Dictionaries recently announced that selfie was their choice for word […]

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  • Language tip of the week: picture

    Posted by on November 28, 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 words used to talk and write about pictures: painting: a picture that is […]

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  • Stories behind Words: Ruby, Britney … and Andy too

    Posted by on November 27, 2013

    It’s Friday night. Fancy a ruby washed down with a couple of britneys? Baffled? What if I reminded you that Britney’s surname is Spears (which rhymes with beers), and told you that Ruby is Ruby Murray, another popular female singer, but one whose heyday was in the 50s? And Murray rhymes with curry … there, […]

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  • Learn English through our monthly topic: November

    Posted by on November 26, 2013

    If you’re an English language student or teacher then you’ll get a lot out of following our Learn English feed on Facebook and Twitter. When you’re learning a new language it’s hard to know where to start. We’re sharing a useful tip every day that is focussed around a monthly topic. So far there’s been […]

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  • The grumbling heart of ‘curmudgeon’

    Posted by on November 25, 2013

    Everyone knows a curmudgeon or two, and some of us would consider ourselves one, at least part-time. Defined in Macmillan Dictionary as ‘someone who gets annoyed easily, especially an old person’, the word crops up regularly in relation to language usage. We see a word or phrase used sloppily, or inept punctuation from someone who […]

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  • Language tip of the week: contribute

    Posted by on November 22, 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 contribute: Don’t use a verb in the infinitive after contribute. Use […]

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  • Flashbulb memories, grassy knolls and conspiracy theories

    Posted by on November 21, 2013

    In an article in Prospect magazine titled “What were the causes of 9/11?”, the author, Peter Bergen, notes that the terrorist attacks of September 2001 gave rise to numerous conspiracy theories. Which is not really surprising, when people were struggling “to explain what otherwise appears inexplicable”. Discussing these theories, Bergen continues: The usual suspects have […]

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  • Stories behind Words: humble pie

    Posted by on November 20, 2013

    Being forced to eat anything is unpleasant, but humble pie must rank among the most disagreeable dishes of all. By eating it you acknowledge that you were completely wrong and that someone else – the person making you eat it – was right. But what is humble pie? And was it ever a physical rather […]

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  • Share the love with the Macmillan Dictionary Love English Awards 2013

    Posted by on November 19, 2013

    There are lots of things to look forward to in November: Bonfire Night, Thanksgiving, the turning on of the Christmas lights, and the Macmillan Dictionary Love English Awards of course! These awards, hosted by Macmillan Dictionary, give you a chance to tell us which is your favourite blog and website about the English language. We […]

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