Author Archive

  • ‘Can I get …’

    Posted by on July 22, 2009

    ‘Can I get some more paper?’ ‘Yes, it’s on the table over there – help yourself.’ This would be an unremarkable question and answer pattern but the colleague who was asked this question by several native speakers of British English recently was the invigilator of an exam and certainly did not give that response! The […]

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  • Beyond the usual

    Posted by on April 27, 2009

    That somebody might find raising funds difficult in these problematic financial times is certainly not beyond belief. That they might say, describing their plight, that ‘Getting the financing was beyond difficult’ may be more surprising. We’re used to things being beyond recognition, beyond a doubt/beyond reasonable doubt, beyond a joke, beyond expectations or beyond our […]

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