Category: English in use

wallace

Reflections on language by… David Foster Wallace

The Oxford American Writer’s Thesaurus included sections labelled ‘reflections’ by some notable writers, including Zadie Smith, David Foster Wallace, and Joshua Ferris. In the second of an occasional series looking at these reflections, we’ve excerpted David Foster Wallace’s thoughts about various words. All the extracts below are by David Foster Wallace, and can be found in […]

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tiger

11 tiger terms and phrases

Native to the forests of Asia, this feline has snuck its way into several common – and a few less common – terms and phrases over the years. Besides referring to the cat, the word tiger is also used to describe someone ‘fierce, determined, or ambitious’. Thanks to the cat’s distinctive markings, the word is […]

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fish

Animal Talk: animal-related adjectives in the English language

The names of animals are probably among the first things learnt by a student of a language, yet knowing the names of animals doesn’t always help when it comes to their associated adjectives—in fact, sometimes it can be downright confusing. Latin-derived adjectives Most of the formal adjectives that relate to animals are not derived from […]

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church

Words you learn at the vicarage

I share something in common with Jane Austen, Tori Amos, Friedrich Nietzsche, and Vincent van Gogh: I am the child of a clergyman. Growing up in a Church of England vicarage has given me insights to faith, diplomacy, and how best to run a coffee morning – but it’s also a window into a very […]

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Alice book

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Coleridge

Coleridge’s way with words

Why should we commemorate Coleridge’s death date, July 25? The obvious reason is his high status as a poet, but a better one might be his exuberance as a wordsmith. As a poet, after all, he is widely known for only two relatively short works, ‘The Rime of the Ancient Mariner’ and ‘Kubla Khan’. While […]

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ice cream

6 things you didn’t know about ice cream

‘I know everything about ice cream’, we can hear you saying, as you spoon it straight out of the tub into your mouth, relishing every moment. Well, we don’t doubt your expertise at ingesting the stuff – and we’re pretty partial to it ourselves – but there are some linguistic aspects to the ice cream […]

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fruit education

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