Archive for April, 2014

  • Trending, then peaking, then past its sell-by date

    Posted by on April 30, 2014

    Australian scientists have discovered that the more beards there are, the less attractive they become. Their experiment, reported in the journal Biology Letters, found that “women and men judged heavy stubble and full beards more attractive when presented in treatments where beards were rare than when they were common … Likewise, clean-shaven faces were least […]

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  • Life skills tip of the week: ways of saying thank you

    Posted by on April 29, 2014

    As part of this year’s pragmatics series, we bring more useful content and tips from the Macmillan Dictionary on expressing yourself. The previous language tip looked at ways of apologizing. This week’s tip gives some ways of thanking someone: Thanks and Thank you are the most usual ways of telling someone you are grateful for […]

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  • Parallelism, precision, and pedantry

    Posted by on April 28, 2014

    Authorities on writing style often stress the importance of parallelism. By this they mean the use of parallel grammar to arrange parallel ideas and elements – which could be words, phrases, or clauses. It’s about matching structures and patterns to enhance the logic and style of one’s prose, and it can make a sentence feel […]

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  • Language and words in the news – 25th April, 2014

    Posted by on April 25, 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: steal

    Posted by on April 24, 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 steal: rob to steal something from a person or […]

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  • Schwa, syllables and words in different guises – Part 1

    Posted by on April 23, 2014

    I still remember learning, in my early days at school, that there are five vowels in English: a, e, i, o and u. But I discovered later that this simple account doesn’t tell the whole story. For one thing, the letter y can also function as a vowel, as in the word sky. And, more […]

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  • Word roots and routes: Easter

    Posted by on April 22, 2014

    Next in a series of posts exploring some of the ‘roots’ and ‘routes’ of English vocabulary. The words Easter and east are related not only to each other, but also to orient, origin and aurora. This might surprise you, but the alternation between s and r in related words is quite common – think of was vs. were, for […]

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  • Language and words in the news – 18th April, 2014

    Posted by on April 18, 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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  • Are you having hot cross buns today?

    Posted by on April 18, 2014

    Today’s Good Friday, the Friday before Easter, a Christian feast that many people from different cultures around the world celebrate every year. Easter marks the end of Lent, and for many it means spending time with family, going away on holiday, decorating eggs and eating traditional Easter dishes. Eggs are a symbol of re-birth and […]

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  • Language tip of the week: until

    Posted by on April 17, 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 conjunction and preposition until: Unlike till, the word until has only one […]

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