Tag Archives: English language

Famous definitions of love

It’s still a few weeks until Valentine’s Day, but it’s never too early to brush up on your definitions of love. Brain Pickings is here to help, listing some famous definitions from 200 years of literary history. One of my favourites is this quote from Captain Corelli’s Mandolin: Love is a temporary madness, it erupts(…)


Letters that didn’t make the alphabet

You know the alphabet. Twenty-six letters, from A-Z. Or do you? There’s a few letters you probably don’t know about, as they’ve been discarded from our language as it grew. My favourite is probably Ash, although the ampersand comes a close second: You’re probably familiar with this guy from old-fashioned Greek or Roman style text,(…)


Your most annoying phrase? Whatever.

Which word or phrase bugs you most? If it’s “whatever”, you’re in good company as Americans have voted it their most annoying word for the fourth consecutive year. The Marist Poll showed that 32% of Americans have this view, closely followed by “like”, at 21%. This figure is slightly down from last year though, when(…)


LinkedIn profile buzzwords

Many people now have LinkedIn profiles – and there are many ways to describe yourself and your skills. It seems that “creative” is the most popular way though. LinkedIn has released its list of top 10 buzzwords on the site, with “creative” topping the list. 1. Creative 2. Organizational 3. Effective 4. Motivated 5. Extensive(…)


Diwali: English words from Indian languages

Happy Diwali everyone! I hope you enjoyed the festival of lights, even though I’m a little late in posting about it. I saw this post over at Wordnik on English words that have their roots in Indian languages and thought it was interesting. I was particularly intrigued to find the word ‘thug’ in their list(…)


Is texting ruining the English language?

Do you know your LOL from your TMI or OMG? Are these acronyms creeping in to your everyday English – outside of texting? This interesting infographic shows some staggering stats about texting, including that 8 TRILLION texts were sent in 2011. It also asks the questions “is texting ruining the English language?” and “is texting(…)


Mariah Carey’s words

Mariah Carey’s been around for a long time. She’s apparently one of the best-selling music artists of all time, having sold over 200 million records worldwide. She’s also known for writing her own lyrics, and Gawker has pointed out that she has a somewhat peculiar word choice at times. Here are some examples: Acquiescent –(…)


Is crowdsourcing a dictionary a good idea?

We’ve mentioned a few different dictionaries here over the years, including recently the news that Collins are taking a crowdsourced approach to adding new words. In an interesting article, Deborah Cameron discusses the advantages and disadvantages of crowdsourced dictionaries. An extract: One objection to this might be that what results from it in practice is(…)


Get your word in the dictionary!

Have you ever wanted to see that special word you and your friends use featured in the dictionary? Now’s your chance! The Collins Dictionary are inviting submissions from the public for the first time. You can submit your word online, and it will go through an evaluation process. If your word is accepted it will(…)