Archive for March, 2014

  • False and flying colours in metaphor

    Posted by on March 31, 2014

    Colour has many figurative and metaphorical uses, independent of physics, that can reflect our identity or nature more or less directly. People might show their true colours by making an off-colour remark, or we might say the local colour of a town has brought colour to some event. I want to highlight here a particular […]

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  • Language and words in the news – 28th March, 2014

    Posted by on March 28, 2014

    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 a link […]

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  • Language tip of the week: way

    Posted by on March 27, 2014

    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 other ways of saying way: method a way of doing something that involves […]

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  • As versus so in negative comparisons

    Posted by on March 26, 2014

    Corpus lexicographers are used to basing their linguistic judgements on authentic data, on what people have actually said or written. This approach has led to major advances in the study of language, but what it tends to underplay is what people think of their own (or other people’s) language habits, in terms of correctness or […]

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  • Word roots and routes: whole

    Posted by on March 24, 2014

    Next in a series of posts exploring some of the ‘roots’ and ‘routes’ of English vocabulary. The word whole has very deep roots, which can be traced back beyond the beginnings of English, and it has close cognates in other modern Germanic languages. The underlying meaning of whole is ‘undamaged’, and therefore complete or entire. […]

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  • Language and words in the news – 21st March, 2014

    Posted by on March 21, 2014

    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 a link […]

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  • Language tip of the week: information

    Posted by on March 20, 2014

    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 information: Information is an uncountable noun, so: ▪ it is never used […]

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  • Join our webinar this afternoon!

    Posted by on March 19, 2014

    This afternoon our Editor-in-Chief, Michael Rundell, will run a free webinar about the importance of ‘Search’ and the role online dictionaries play in language learning. He’ll talk about how corpus linguistics has transformed our understanding of how language works: the focus of our dictionaries is not just the individual word but the way words come together […]

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  • Life skills tip of the week: ways of offering something to someone

    Posted by on March 18, 2014

    As part of our pragmatics series, we bring more useful content and tips from the Macmillan Dictionary on expressing yourself. The previous language tip looked at ways of suggesting something. This week’s tip gives some ways of offering something to someone, and some ways of accepting or refusing an offer: Would you like…? is the most […]

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  • Patterns of consonant doubling

    Posted by on March 17, 2014

    A tricky aspect of English spelling is the question of doubling consonants when words are suffixed. It’s often cited as an example of UK vs US spelling differences – travel, for example, generates traveller and travelling in the UK, traveler and traveling in the US. But many such words are styled the same in both […]

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