August 14, 2014

When Does Slang Die?

The English language absorbs words and terms from every other language, and lots of sub-cultures, vocations and technologies.

But what happens when a word loses its meaning or its context?

Words establish their meanings from events or...

Continue reading "When Does Slang Die?"

Posted by mmorf at 11:36 PM | Comments (0)

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...

Continue reading "How do You Pronounce That Word?"

Posted by mmorf at 10:52 PM | Comments (0)

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...

Continue reading "How To Use The 15 Punctuation Marks"

Posted by mmorf at 12:02 AM | Comments (0)

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...

Continue reading "On Being Wrong"

Posted by mmorf at 11:14 PM | Comments (0)

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...

Continue reading "Awards For Bad Grammar"

Posted by mmorf at 11:54 PM | Comments (0)

April 24, 2014

English Confusions

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...

Continue reading "English Confusions"

Posted by mmorf at 11:48 PM | Comments (0)

January 08, 2014

Words To Abandon in 2014

The English language, perhaps too easily, adapts and absorbs all kinds of new words. And just as quickly, it seems, the English language turns and leaves some of its users...

Continue reading "Words To Abandon in 2014"

Posted by mmorf at 10:42 PM | Comments (0)

July 27, 2013

Its, It's Or Its'?

Every language, I presume, has punctuation marks as well as vocabulary and grammar to master. In English, commas and end punctuation are fairly easy to keep straight. Apostrophes, on the other hand....

Continue reading "Its, It's Or Its'?"

Posted by mmorf at 10:17 PM | Comments (0)

July 12, 2013

Sower Or Sewer?

English has all kinds of confusing words and word histories. The other day I was riding my bicycle and I noticed...

Continue reading "Sower Or Sewer?"

Posted by mmorf at 09:45 PM | Comments (0)

April 30, 2013

Got Tones?

There are two basic kinds of languages - with only a few exceptions, every language is either tonal or atonal. Many Aisan languages for example use the same phonemes with different tones to define their meaning. As a language learner...

Continue reading "Got Tones?"

Posted by mmorf at 11:12 AM | Comments (0)

April 10, 2013

Contronyms - Words With Opposite Meanings

As if English wasn't difficult enough with its arcane and inconsistent spelling rules, word roots from different languages and always-shifting meanings....

Continue reading "Contronyms - Words With Opposite Meanings"

Posted by mmorf at 10:29 AM | Comments (0)

December 05, 2012

Clear Writing And Simple Spelling

Ever read a document, or see a contract that did not make a shred of sense, even though...

Continue reading "Clear Writing And Simple Spelling"

Posted by mmorf at 08:08 PM | Comments (0)

February 01, 2011

Do You Speak A Language Or A Dialect?

I usually think of a language as a the major - and for the most part, stable - body of language and a dialect as a...

Continue reading "Do You Speak A Language Or A Dialect?"

Posted by mmorf at 10:24 PM | Comments (0)

January 30, 2010

English Vagueness

Every language has its trips and traps. English, for a variety of reasons, seems to have more than its share. Consider, for example, some extremely common words, phrases and areas of miscommunication. When you are at a meal, for example and you say that something is "hot" do you mean hot as in spicy or hot as in...

Continue reading "English Vagueness"

Posted by mmorf at 10:36 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)