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Most popular posts of 2009

© Pix by Marti / Fotolia.comBelow are links to some of our most popular posts of the year. Many of the posts still have ongoing conversations so don’t hesitate to leave a comment!

Horrible Americanisms?
Who decides what is “good” or “correct” English when the way it is spoken differs from country to country?

Casting a spell on English.
Stephen Bullon’s series of posts on the English language.

Dude, where’s my definition?
So dude, do you surf? Do you ride the tail or prefer to have your toes on the nose?

Why it pays to hedge your bets in English.
Without hedges the social fabric of our nation would be torn apart; there would be constant brawling in post office queues across the land.

Bored of life? What Dr. Johnson didn’t say.
Samuel Johnson famously said that “when a man is tired of London, he is tired of life”.

Are you lovin’ it?
Everything you know about the present continuous is wrong … it’s all Justin Timberlake’s fault.

I’m beginning to hate apostrophes!
If we can’t get apostrophes right, let’s do what Birmingham is doing and get rid of them completely.

Cardiganed old duffers? A lexicographer responds.
Let’s deconstruct this. First, you apparently have to be old in order to be a real lexicographer (not like those young upstarts who create dictionaries in cyberspace).

King’s English.
King says: ‘Any word you have to hunt for in a thesaurus is the wrong word. There are no exceptions to this rule’.

Pwn leet speak: a dynamic sublanguage and internet phenomenon.
Apparently, throughout human existence, males have demonstrated their mating fitness by inventing and displaying new and innovative communication forms.

Saying dates.
Why, for example, do we say nineteen hundred (1900) but two thousand (2000)?

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Jonathan Cole

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