Archive for December, 2015

  • Macmillan Dictionary highlights of 2015

    Posted by on December 30, 2015

    With one more day to go in 2015, it’s time for us to look back at some of the language trends of the year … and which dictionary features were the most popular ones according to our users! The Top 5 most popular BuzzWords of 2015 were: 1. slow: “in an era characterized by frenetic information transfer and a […]

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  • Language and words in the news – 24th December, 2015

    Posted by on December 24, 2015

    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. Since it’s Christmas Eve, all the posts are related to the […]

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  • Christmas comes but once a year

    Posted by on December 23, 2015

    Since it is Christmas week I thought I’d depart from the usual theme of these posts and look at some Christmas phrases. To start with the title of the post, the phrase is from a poem by the 16th century English poet and farmer Thomas Tusser, who came from Essex, the county of my birth. […]

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  • Appraising Pinker’s prescriptions

    Posted by on December 21, 2015

    In September I took the UK Independent to task for publishing a misleading set of ‘words you’re using wrong’. These listicles usually mix legitimate facts with myths, misinformation and pet peeves without much basis in the evidence of how people use English. Instead they rely on fallacy, fancy, bogus rules and dogma to tell people […]

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  • Language and words in the news – 18th December, 2015

    Posted by on December 18, 2015

    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. (Like an internet version of the Thieving Magpie I plunder links […]

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  • Language tip of the week: speaking with difficulty

    Posted by on December 16, 2015

    In this weekly post, we bring more useful content from the Macmillan Dictionary to English language learners. In this series of language tips to accompany the Real Vocabulary theme we look at how you can expand your vocabulary in English by using different words and expressions instead of core vocabulary items. This week’s tip looks […]

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  • Language and words in the news – 11th December, 2015

    Posted by on December 11, 2015

    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: speak a lot

    Posted by on December 10, 2015

    In this weekly post, we bring more useful content from the Macmillan Dictionary to English language learners. In this series of language tips to accompany the Real Vocabulary theme we look at how you can expand your vocabulary in English by using different words and expressions instead of core vocabulary items. This week’s tip looks […]

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  • Real Vocabulary Quiz, Question 4: Is it acceptable to talk about “growing a company”?

    Posted by on December 09, 2015

    Our Real Grammar series showed how the evidence of language in use often undermines or contradicts the made-up or outdated “rules” which some people insist on. In this series on Real Vocabulary, with Scott Thornbury, we’re bringing you blog posts, videos and a quiz that give evidence-based answers to frequently asked questions about vocabulary. ______________ […]

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  • Alice in Blenderland

    Posted by on December 07, 2015

    Lewis Carroll’s fiction abounds in puns, paradoxes, and plays on logic, but among the most enduring of its linguistic pleasures are the portmanteau words he invented. Portmanteau words, also called blends, are words that ‘combine the sound and meaning of two words’, for example brunch, which blends breakfast and lunch, and Wikipedia, formed from wiki […]

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