Monthly Archives: January, 2012

How Americans speak

Back in 1962, Fred Cassidy was named chief editor of an American dialect dictionary project. He envisioned the Dictionary of American Regional English (DARE) would be complete by 1976; the first volume was not published until 1985, and covered A to C. The final volume, V, is published in March. DARE stands alone as the(…)


When NOT speaking a second language is a problem

My last post was about presidential candidates who find that speaking a second language can be a disadvantage. In this case though, it’s lack of fluency in a second language that’s the issue. Alejandrina Cabrera wanted to run for city council in the border town of San Luis, Arizona, but has been barred from the(…)


When speaking a second language is a problem

Most of the time it’s seen as desirable to speak more than one language. When isn’t it? When you’re hoping to become President of the United States. An interesting article at The New Republic explores the reasons why bilingualism becomes an issue in presidential campaigns: In 2004, it was John Kerry who was derided by(…)


Zed or zee?

Being British, I pronounce the letter ‘z’ as ‘zed’. Whilst visiting a friend, his two young nieces were confused and asked me why I didn’t say ‘zee’ like they did. They also chuckled at me saying ‘zeb-ra’ rather than ‘zee-bra’. Over at Separated by a Common Language, they’ve written a handy post which is of(…)


Scrabble help

Scrabble is a great game for improving your vocabulary, both in your native and target languages. There’s nothing like a bit of competition to act as an incentive to learn. According to a Lifehacker article, they key to winning at Scrabble is knowing all the two letter words. Doesn’t sounds too hard, right? Well, there’s(…)


Words for 2012?

I’m currently in South Carolina, where there is a lot of coverage of the Republican presidential nominee process. This reminded me there’s an election this year, and got me wondering what new words the election may bring. The US News & World Report has some political words/phrases as some of their 10 new words learned(…)


Language learning: the secret

Happy New Year everyone! Hope you had some fun downtime and are now ready to get your language learning started again! It’s a new year and that means resolutions. Some of mine are language related and I hope yours are too. I discovered an article at CBC News that may help us – it promises(…)