Marilyn Hedges

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Short animated history of the English language

I am fascinated by the way language evolves and so enjoyed this animation from the British Open University that in just ten minutes gives a flippant …

Geoffrey K. Pullum

January 31, 2018 @ 12:55 pm· Filed by Geoffrey K. Pullum under Animal behavior, Ignorance of linguistics, Language and the media, Silliness<p>Published …

Linguistics

21 Expressions You're Probably Saying Wrong

Do you consider yourself a grammar snob? Then read on to ensure these 21 commonly misused expressions aren't coming from your keyboard.

Grammar

10 English Words We Should Pull Out of Retirement

The English language is a hodgepodge of words like hodgepodge. Derived from the French “hocher,” which means “to shake,” the British “hotchpot” comes …

These Fascinating Maps Show The Origin Of Words We Use All The Time

U.S. playwright Rita Mae Brown said: "Language is the road map of a culture. It tells you where its people come from and where they are going."<p>That quote comes to mind looking at these fascinating European etymology maps of various commons words posted by reddit user sp07, which provide a kind of …

Geography

Homophones

How polysemy and spelling variation gave us pairs of words such as compliment and complement and then and than.<p>Jonathon Owen is an editor and …

Linguistics

Only 10 Words Make Up 25% Of The English Language

Those ten words, listed in order of frequency, comprise around 25% of the recorded English language, according to an ambitious project at Oxford University.<p>The project, called the Oxford English Corpus, is a growing database of examples from 21st-century English, ranging from literature and …

Language

5 More Misplaced Modifiers

<b>thebluebird11on April 06, 2013 7:11 pm</b><p>@DAW: I guess the barber has to use a scissors LOL…<br>OK please don’t go off on me about this…<p><b>Dale A. Woodon April</b> …

The History of The English Language [Infographic]

This content has been archived. It may no longer be relevant<p>What we know as the English Language today has evolved over thousands of years, …

Oct 28, English Parts of Speech

Learning the English parts of speech is a must if you want to learn grammar. See definitions and lists of all eight. Categorize your words, learn …

Grammar

10 words that you've probably been misusing

There are so many words in the English language that it’s not surprising that the definitions for some of them have gotten mixed up over the years. …

Santa Claus

The Ancient Roots of Punctuation

<i>In his new book, “Shady Characters: The Secret Life of Punctuation, Symbols & Other Typographical Marks,” Keith Houston reveals the stories behind esoteric punctuation marks, from the pilcrow (¶) to the manicule (☞) to the octothorpe, a.k.a. the hashtag. Many of these have their roots in ancient</i> …

French Language

79 Common Mispronunciations Which You Obviously Already Knew (VIDEO)

Did you know that "pinochle" is pronounced "pea-knuckle?" Or that the "e" isn't pronounced in the word "forte?" Or that "irregardless" isn't a word? (Just kidding, we already knew that one.)<p>Even if you did, see how many of these other 76 common mispronunciations you already know. (Warning: Some of …

13 Words That NEED To Be Brought Back Into Fashion

<i>Excerpted from the introduction to my new book, Let's Bring Back: The Lost Language Edition:</i><p>As we all know, nothing falls out of fashion like fashion. History has relegated thousands of adornments to the ash bin, from togas to bustles to turbans. Yet, somehow these "glad rags" always manage to …

Study: 'Fossil' Words Are Older Than We Thought

The origin of some of the words we use today goes back much further than scientists once thought, suggesting an Ice Age-era proto-language that spawned many of the world's contemporary linguistic groups, according to a new study by a group of U.K.-based scientists.<p>The study, published in the …

10 of the worst examples of management-speak

Only if you have the core competencies will you be able to action the key deliverables ... Steven Poole drills down into the strangled vocabulary of office jargon<p>Among the most spirit-sapping indignities of office life is the relentless battering of workers' ears by the strangled vocabulary of …

Why Chaucer Said 'Ax' Instead Of 'Ask,' And Why Some Still Do

Zach Galifianakis makes an Ax joke.<p>The most common stereotype of black vernacular is the pronunciation of the word "ask" as "ax." "Ax" has gotten a bad rap for years. Pronounce "ask" as "ax," and immediately many will assume that you're poor, black and uneducated. New York City's first …

Adverbs and Adjectives are NOT Your Friends

Okay, maybe they <i>are</i> friends, but let’s agree to classify them as the kind of friends you invite to your house and after a half-hour spend the rest of …