Author Archive

  • The language of American politics

    Posted by on November 01, 2010

    Tomorrow, on 2nd November, the US are holding mid-term elections which will determine who – Republicans or Democrats – will control Congress for the next two years (for predictions, see here). As the 2000 Presidential Election spectacularly proved, the American electorate is divided into two camps. On one side are the Democrat-voting blue states, located […]

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  • Mavens and memes – the answers

    Posted by on July 15, 2010

    Did you understand the words and phrases at the end of yesterday’s post? They are a little tricky because they need a little cultural background: Blogosphere refers to all blogs and their interconnections. The idea is that all blogs form a social network. Maven comes from the Yiddish word meaning ‘expert’ or ‘someone knowledgeable in […]

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  • Are you a maven of the blogosphere?

    Posted by on July 14, 2010

    New technical terms are a source of great irritation to the casual reader. They are a way of creating an exclusive club of those ‘in the know’, what George Bernard Shaw called a ‘conspiracy against the public’. Nonetheless, new processes and ideas create the need for a new vocabulary to describe them. Most online linguistic […]

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  • Shakespeare and Hollywood: Answers

    Posted by on May 03, 2010

    Here are the answers to the questions in my previous post: a musical 1: Westside Story, based on the play Romeo and Juliet musical 2: Kiss Me Kate, based on the play The Taming of the Shrew b Shakespeare in Love c bloody, e.g. Duncan 1.2.1: What bloody man is that? / Macbeth 2.1: This […]

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  • The Film’s the thing – Shakespeare and Hollywood

    Posted by on April 29, 2010

    Brendan correctly indentified the Shakespeare play in my last post as Hamlet (a ghost and prince meet/And everyone ends in mincemeat). The mincemeat is a reference to the bloody final scene, in which four major characters die before the final curtain. Brendan also nailed the song as ‘That’s Entertainment’ from the film musical The Band […]

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  • Chinese Shakespeare?

    Posted by on April 26, 2010

    Our next guest post in Chinese English month comes from Kieran McGovern, author of the Macmillan Reader Love by Design. He blogs here, where you can find his ‘Shakespeare and the English Language’. He also edits this website. ________ Few will be surprised to discover that William Shakespeare never visited China. Nor was his work […]

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