A Delightful Dictionary for Canadian English

A new musical opened on Broadway last week, “Come from Away,” about Gander, a small town in Newfoundland that rallied to care for some seven thousand travellers stuck there after their planes were grounded in the aftermath of 9/11. The play celebrates a variety of Canadian habits and customs, of …


12 phrases that can make you sound ignorant at work

How you communicate with others, whether through speech or written text, influences how others perceive and evaluate you as a professional.<p>According to Lynn Taylor, a national workplace expert and the author of "Tame Your Terrible Office Tyrant: How to Manage Childish Boss Behavior and Thrive in …

Half of All Languages Come from One Root Language. How it Spread Is Something of Debate

The sheer variety of languages on Earth is dizzying in their array and divergence. What’s more intriguing, is that about half of them spoken today by …


These Amazing Websites Will Teach You a Great New Skill (Even If You're Busy)

Today, there’s no excuse not to be able to learn new skills.<p>While decades ago, we were limited to the confinements of a library or a classroom, we …

Language Learning

What languages should children be learning to get ahead?

There are 7,099 known languages in the world today. Choosing which of these to teach our children as a second language is an important decision, but …


The best smartphone apps for learning French

A winning way to learn French is while sitting (or more likely, standing) on the Metro, in your lunch break or whenever you have a spare five minutes.<p>…

Language Learning

Helpful Illustrations Define Feelings of Love That Have No English Translation

Love is a universal language, but sometimes, saying a simple “I love you” doesn’t accurately express what you really feel. In this way, the English language falls short of conveying your true emotions. Luckily, there’s a way to bridge the gap. We can adopt words from other cultures that aren’t …


Some Theories On Trump's Misuse Of Quotation Marks

And while we're at it, let's look at those parentheses.<p>President Donald Trump’s extremely active Twitter feed constantly presents us with profound questions about the nature of language. Why does he deploy so many exclamation points? Use strings of repetitive synonyms? End so many tweets with …

Donald Trump

How Speaking Another Language Can Change Your Personality

More and more, research is showing that language goes a lot deeper than communication. The way you speak impacts the way you think, changing …


Accusative case: Quiz for beginners

The topic of the last post was the use of the accusative case as a direct object. In this post there is a quiz for beginners: you should find the …

How English Creates a New Caste System in India

<i>Contemporary India has created a system in which the majority of Indian youth find little educational and economic value in learning their native and</i> …




A Map of Lexical Distances Between Europe's Languages

A Finn and a Spaniard walk into a bar...<br>Read More


New words notes March 2017 - Oxford English Dictionary

In this quarterly update, the <i>Oxford English Dictionary</i> adds over 500 new words, phrases, and senses. In keeping with the <i>OED</i>’s broad scope, the list …


The Teachers' Room: Top tips about intonation

Ayushmann Khurrana REVEALS that he likes learning new languages

Ayushmann Khurrana has played various characters on screen such as a quintessential boy from Haridwar (Dum Laga Ke Haisha; 2015), a Maharashtrian boy …


The Etymological Origins of Two-Part Words That Have One Part More Obscure That the Other

In an interesting episode of their incredibly informative whiteboard series for Mental Floss , linguist Arika Okrent and illustrator Sean O’Neill …


What Trump’s Quotation Marks Really Mean

It was surely the first time in history that a president’s credibility had hung from a pair of punctuation marks. Last week, in his efforts to …

Liberal POV

Fighting Words: Three Words We Love to Argue About

Language scolds looking for backup in their forever-war against “irregardless” or split infinitives shouldn’t expect any help from Kory Stamper. Ms. Stamper, a lexicographer at Merriam-Webster and the author of the new book “Word by Word: The Secret Life of Dictionaries,” takes a capacious view of …


The Gaelic Gestapo. Shaping The Language Of Hate In Scotland

To name a thing is to control a thing. Words have a power beyond the immediate and obvious. The process of naming shapes perception and …


14 Everyday Struggles of Bilingual People

I speak 2.5 languages. I'm fluent in Spanish (my birth language) and English, and I know enough Italian to help a lost tourist. Though being able to …

Language Learning

12 Old Words for the Huge, Mammoth, and Gargantuan

When something—say, a canyon or mistake—is truly enormous, the same old small time words like <i>colossal</i> and <i>massive</i> don’t always get the job done. …


Three bloody good reasons to embrace swearing

Far from foul-mouthed, one professor says swear words can help to express the inexpressible.


Why Being Complimented is Basically the Worst

People are just trying to be nice, sure. But even well-intended statements don’t always go over well.<p>There’s nothing like a compliment to put me down …

Language Learning

British business will need its foreign language speakers

Theresa May will trigger Article 50 on March 29, but much of UK business has no idea what Brexit will mean for them. During discussions in the past …


The Origins of Foolishness

Where does the Yiddish word <i>narishkayt</i> come from?


The Kiwi Dialect

4.What is proper English<br>“Our Kiwi Twang, David Killick<br>Press columnist and University of Canterbury linguistics professor Elizabeth Osmers Gordon<p>“Trap …


A Journey Into the Merriam-Webster Word Factory

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. — Merriam-Webster, the oldest dictionary publisher in America, has turned itself into a social media powerhouse over the past few years. Its editors star in online videos on hot-button topics like the serial comma, gender pronouns and the dreaded “irregardless.” Its Twitter feed …


Crimes of grammar and other writing misdemeanours

Writing an article like this is just asking for trouble.<p>Already, I can hear one reader asking "Why do you need <i>just</i>?" Another suggesting that <i>like</i> …


The Polar Tombola

As the UK tour of <i>The Polar Tombola</i> draws to a close, Nancy Campbell reports on this exciting project which aims to encourage awareness of endangered Arctic languages.<p>'This is the first time I've looked in a dictionary since my A-levels,' confided a middle-aged man, eagerly flicking through the …