Category: English in use

David Brent The Office

The awkward language of David Brent and The Office

‘David, some words would be useful here’: a sentence of exasperation from Neil Godwin, David Brent’s nemesis in the mockumentary The Office, as he witnesses Brent’s bungling management metaphors and haplessly incomprehensible hand-gestures. As we know, David Brent actually has a lot of words, and most of them lead to podiacide, otherwise known as shooting […]

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words ending in -cracy

60 words ending with –cracy

When you’re tracing the etymology of a word, you’ll find that many roads lead to Greek. A large amount of English word do have their origins in the Hellenic language, although they might’ve entered the English via other routes. We have already looked at words ending with Greek –phobia, so this time we turn our […]

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The Republican and Democratic National Conventions come with some rather unique vocabulary.

Conventional wisdom – America gears up for two very political parties

As the mercury climbs ever higher across the US, the political temperature will be getting especially hot in two of its cities this summer. Cleveland, in Ohio, and Philadelphia, in Pennsylvania, are about to host, respectively, the Republican and Democratic National Conventions – when each party will officially nominate their chosen candidate to run for […]

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Pwn, RPG, and griefer: the language of gaming

The language of gaming

During the days where the arcades were thriving businesses, there were some very obvious patterns to how gaming words appeared. Most words would either define a piece of hardware, or describe the genre of the game. Once gaming branched into the online world, a whole new way of playing video games emerged. With this came […]

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The word burkini has entered widespread use this year.

Taking a dip into the language of swimming

The British summer may be shaping up to be something of a damp squib so far, but that hasn’t stopped a new swimwear term making it into the dictionary in 2016. Thanks to its push by leading British retailers Marks and Spencer and House of Fraser, the word burkini has entered widespread use this year, […]

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The language of Lewis Carroll was highly innovative, and his books are full of neologisms and nonce words.

Alice Day and the language of Lewis Carroll

Alice Day is an annual celebration held on 4 July to mark the anniversary of the ‘golden afternoon’ in 1862 when Charles Lutwidge Dodgson, a mathematics tutor at Christ Church, Oxford, took Alice Liddell and her sisters on a boating picnic up the river Thames. During the trip he amused the sisters by telling the […]

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What do you call a dinosaur with an extensive vocabulary? A thesaurus!

Language jokes for International Jokes Day

We love language and we love jokes, so it stands to reason that we love language jokes. We took to Twitter to try out some of our favourites, and asked the good people of the public to tweet us their own too. Below are our jokes, and a selection of the others that we liked […]

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The language of skateboarding

The language of skateboarding

Skateboarding began in California in the 1940s, invented by surfers looking for excitement when the waves were too flat to surf; the earliest skateboards were devised by adding roller skate wheels to wooden boxes. Over the following decades the boards became more sophisticated, as did the variety of manoeuvres that skaters attempted to carry out. […]

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