Author Archive

  • 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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  • 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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  • Life skills tip of the week: ways of expressing uncertainty

    Posted by on February 25, 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 saying ‘I don’t know‘. This week’s tip gives some ways of saying you think you know something but are not completely sure: perhaps/maybe: used for saying that […]

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  • Stories behind Words: Hogmanay

    Posted by on January 01, 2014

    31st December, the last night of the year in the Western calendar, is celebrated in many places, but nowhere more enthusiastically than in Scotland. The Scots even have their own word for this festival, shunning the pedestrian New Year’s Eve for the Scots word Hogmanay. The etymology of Hogmanay is complicated, but it is believed […]

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  • Stories behind Words: Boxing Day

    Posted by on December 25, 2013

    The day after Christmas Day, traditionally known as Boxing Day, is a public holiday in Britain and several other countries (if the 26th December falls on a weekend the holiday is moved to the first or second available weekday). But what does it have to do with boxing? Actually nothing, if by boxing you mean […]

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  • Stories behind Words: Christmas, Noel and Yule

    Posted by on December 18, 2013

    More Christmassy words this week; in fact, three words that refer to the festival itself. The oldest of the three is Yule, from Old English geól, which meant Christmas Day or Christmastime, and corresponds to an Old Norse word jól, which was a pagan winter feast lasting twelve days. The earliest citation of this word […]

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

    Posted by on December 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 […]

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  • Stories behind Words: carol

    Posted by on December 11, 2013

    There are some things about Christmas that I can take or leave, and others that I really love. One essential element of the festive season as far as I’m concerned is the Christmas carol. If I haven’t raised my voice to sing ‘Once in Royal David’s City‘ or ‘It Came Upon a Midnight Clear‘ at […]

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  • Language and words in the news – 6th December, 2013

    Posted by on December 06, 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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  • Stories behind Words: chortle and galumph

    Posted by on December 04, 2013

    It’s not that unusual for people to ask me how they can get a word into the dictionary. That’s easy, I tell them. Get lots of different people to use it in lots of different places and in it will go. Actually it’s not easy at all, as can be seen from the complete failure […]

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