From the category archives:

Live English

  • Open Dictionary Word of the Month: smoko

    Posted by on August 10, 2015

    Submissions to the Open Dictionary in July continued the theme of food words from around the globe. So we have added, among others, aloo tikki (‘a famous Indian snack made of potato and spices’), kreplach (small dumplings filled with meat or cheese, eaten on Jewish holidays) and lahmacun (a type of middle Eastern pizza). A […]

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  • The dictionary that keeps on growing

    Posted by on July 28, 2015

    The latest update of the Macmillan Dictionary went live last week, and it includes 146 new words. On top of that, 25 existing words have gained new meanings, and we’ve made over 130 other changes – updating or improving definitions, adding “new” alternative pronunciations, and so on. The dictionary keeps on growing. We’ve talked before […]

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  • Open Dictionary Word of the Month: icy pole

    Posted by on July 13, 2015

    Following the integration of the Open Dictionary into Macmillan Dictionary earlier this year, we thought it was time to celebrate again the success of our crowdsourced dictionary. This series of posts will highlight the contribution made by our worldwide band of contributors by picking out some of the most interesting submissions made to the Open […]

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  • Reflections on Real Grammar

    Posted by on July 06, 2015

    Macmillan Dictionary’s recent series on Real Grammar included a quiz that explored people’s attitudes and preferences in English language usage. Editor-in-Chief Michael Rundell wrote that the quiz results suggest ‘a sophisticated understanding of how grammatical norms can change over time or can vary according to the social context’, and that most respondents ‘opted for sensible […]

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  • Real Grammar Twitter chat

    Posted by on June 24, 2015

    To bring down the curtain on our Real Grammar series, we held our first-ever live Twitter chat with regular blog contributor Stan Carey this week. In case you missed it, you’ll find some of the highlights below courtesy of Stan’s specially-created Storify which he put together after the event. Just click through the slides to […]

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  • Real Grammar: a few concluding thoughts

    Posted by on June 23, 2015

    Real Grammar isn’t about the made-up or outdated “rules” which some people try to make us follow. As we said in the introduction to this new series from Macmillan Dictionary, Real Grammar is based on the evidence of language in use. In our series of Real Grammar blog posts and videos, we have discussed frequently asked questions about grammar, and provided evidence-based answers. […]

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  • Real Grammar Quiz, Question 10: can I use “however” at the beginning of a sentence?

    Posted by on June 16, 2015

    Real Grammar isn’t about the made-up or outdated “rules” which some people try to make us follow. As we said in the introduction to this new series from Macmillan Dictionary, Real Grammar is based on the evidence of language in use. In this series, we have brought you blog posts and videos that give evidence-based answers to frequently asked questions about grammar and usage. There’s also […]

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  • Dialects and dictionaries

    Posted by on June 02, 2015

    There is an old story about a sign on a level crossing (the place where a road crosses a railway line, known as a “grade crossing” in the U.S.). The sign was designed for the safety of car drivers, and it said: “Wait here while the red light flashes”. But it had to be replaced because […]

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  • Real Grammar Quiz, Question 9: should I say “Can I…” or “May I …”?

    Posted by on May 27, 2015

    Real Grammar isn’t about the made-up or outdated “rules” which some people try to make us follow. As we said in the introduction to this new series from Macmillan Dictionary, Real Grammar is based on the evidence of language in use. In this series, we’ll be bringing you blog posts and videos that give evidence-based answers to frequently asked questions about grammar and usage. […]

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  • Real Grammar Quiz, Question 8: can “like” be used as a conjunction?

    Posted by on April 21, 2015

    Real Grammar isn’t about the made-up or outdated “rules” which some people try to make us follow. As we said in the introduction to this new series from Macmillan Dictionary, Real Grammar is based on the evidence of language in use. In this series, we’ll be bringing you blog posts and videos that give evidence-based answers to frequently asked questions about grammar and usage. […]

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