July 19, 2014
Weep or Cry? Smell or Odor?
The English language is filled with words from other languages. According to many linguists...
July 14, 2014
Does Our Language Reveal Our Age?
Our use of language, vocabulary and grammar in particular, reveal much about us; our education, our class and our place of origin. But did you ever imagine that it also reveals our...
July 08, 2014
Have An Accent?
I have to admit that accents have always been a mystery to me. I live on the West Coast of North America where most of us have what is called a 'flat' accent.
Supposedly news anchors of national news broadcasting stations spend time here to...
July 03, 2014
How do You Pronounce That Word?
Learning a new language vocabulary and grammar is difficult enough, but most new English language learners are exposed, not by their misuse of words or how to put them together in a sentence but by...
June 28, 2014
What Makes A Word 'Real'?
In the English language, words come from just about anywhere; technical jargon, international contact and sometimes misunderstanding or...
June 24, 2014
What Makes A Word Offensive?
Using slang or derogatory words as an individual is one thing, but when a public organization, like a sports team, makes a public statement by their name...
June 19, 2014
How To Use The 15 Punctuation Marks
The English language has 15 punctuation marks. Some are simple and direct, while some are thoroughly...
June 13, 2014
Is There Anything We Should Not Read?
There are great books and there are books that are not really worth your time.
The problem, however, is to figure out which books are worth reading and which aren't.
The only way to do this is to....
June 08, 2014
Maya Angelou On Language
One of the remarkable aspects of language is when someone, in this case, Maya Angelou, speaks with authority.
Love her or hate her, there is no one quite like...
June 03, 2014
What's Your Idiolect?
Each one of us has our own way of using language. When a group has a shared way of speaking, we call it a dialect, but the way an individual speaks is their...
May 30, 2014
12 TED Talks About Words
I have used TED Talks in my classes for a few years now, they are always fresh and provocative. Usually I just find one or two that are relevant to what my class is working on, but today I have...
May 25, 2014
100 Best Movies
Everybody seems to like movies. A good film is many things; a compelling story, familiar actors, interesting settings and yes...
May 20, 2014
Lost in Translation
No language captures every human concept or experience.
Sometimes we like to imagine, or even convince ourselves...
May 16, 2014
The English language can be tricky. Even native speakers often have many of the same trouble areas that make English language learning particularly difficult for English language learners.
And when a major magazine has a series of articles on language usage, you know....
May 09, 2014
On Being Wrong
In a sense, learning a language, even the language we are born into, is like mastering any other area of human endeavor - we will make mistakes. As language learners we don't hear things correctly, we forget things or we just plain...
May 04, 2014
Telling Good Stories
Everybody likes - and learns from - a good story. Storytelling is basic to every human culture, but...
April 29, 2014
Awards For Bad Grammar
It's bad enough when an individual makes a grammar mistake, but can you imagine being part of a public agency or organization that...
April 24, 2014
Learning any new language is never 'easy'. In fact each language might be difficult in its own way.
English, like every language, is an awkward, many times contradictory, amalgamation of...
April 20, 2014
British Empire Documentaries And Eating Around The World
In my classes, I like to use short, vivid and memorable video clips. Some are hard to find, many are on YouTube, but quality collections are usually expensive and hard to find. Until now. Take a look at...
April 15, 2014
Learn Other Languages Quickly
Did you know that in English just 300 words make up 65% of all written material? This is almost certainly true in most other languages as well. If this is true...