Posts Tagged ‘American English’

  • Language and words in the news – 23rd March, 2013

    Posted by on March 23, 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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  • “All hat and no cattle” (R.I.P. Larry Hagman)

    Posted by on March 21, 2013

    The venue for this year’s TESOL Convention evokes memories of the long-running TV series about the Texas oil business. When Dallas was first aired on British TV in 1978, it brought a touch of glamour to a rather gloomy U.K., then (as now) in the grip of economic recession. The fast cars, cowboy hats, gushers, […]

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  • Language tip of the week: American and British English differences

    Posted by on March 19, 2013

    In this weekly post, we bring more useful content from the Macmillan Dictionary to English language learners. These tips are based on areas of English which learners often find difficult, e.g. spelling, grammar, collocation, synonyms, etc. This week we focus on American English, and today’s post highlights some key differences between American and British English […]

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  • Touchous, honeyfuggle, and whoopensocker

    Posted by on March 18, 2013

    We’ve looked before at dialectal vocabulary – those regional words and phrases peculiar to, or characteristic of, particular geographic areas. My earlier post focused on UK and Irish terms, but American speakers are no slouches in the regional expressions department. A good source of these is the US public radio show A Way with Words, […]

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  • Compound fractures

    Posted by on April 24, 2012

    Though it has never been discovered, there must be, resting somewhere on the floor of the Atlantic Ocean, a box of words that lost their way in the perilous journey from British to American English, or in some cases, in the reverse direction. This would handily explain the disparities among a number of compound terms […]

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  • Rather interesting

    Posted by on April 10, 2012

    Michael Rundell noted in his post a couple of weeks ago that there was a clear British/American divide in the use of the expression “Thanks a bunch”: it’s often used sincerely in American English, but ironically in British. That distinction, in one respect, is the tip of an iceberg: the iceberg of adverbial modification. In […]

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  • Helmer at the helm

    Posted by on February 20, 2012

    “I stood at her helm, and for long hours silently guided the way of this fire-ship on the sea.” The old nautical word helm is likely to evoke a salty sea image such as one from Herman Melville’s mighty Moby-Dick – that is, of a wheel or similar gear used to steer a boat or […]

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  • Trending now!

    Posted by on January 30, 2012

    Humans never outgrow a fascination with new playthings, but after a certain age it is unseemly and unrealistic to expect a steady stream of surprise gifts from doting parents, aunts, uncles, and grandparents. One consolation for this loss is new words: clever coinages come along all the time to supply our craving for novelty. A […]

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  • American political discourse: a primer

    Posted by on January 17, 2012

    The run-up to a general election in the United States provides an opportunity for observers of English to see it stretched beyond ordinary limits. The winnowing process that will reduce the various Republican contenders in the race to one has begun and as we plod steadily toward the November election, the rhetoric heats up and […]

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  • Class, accent, variety: north vs south

    Posted by on December 06, 2011

    Discussion of class and English continues for one final week. In this guest post, journalist, author and blogger Robert Lane Greene looks at class and language, specifically pronunciation, in American English. ___________ In my last post I wrote about the messy variety that characterizes American English, saying it was far too often treated as a […]

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