Category: English in use

“Life is like riding a bicycle. To keep your balance you must keep moving.” - Albert Einstein

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Word in the news: could you cope with 'cope'?

Word in the news: could you cope with ‘cope’?

You may have seen in the news that French students sitting a baccalaureate exam about Ian McEwan’s 2001 novel Atonement were asked to discuss ‘How is Turner coping with the situation?’, Turner being the male protagonist. ‘Question M’ quickly became a hot topic on social media, with students complaining that the word coping was too […]

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"A classic is a book that has never finished saying what it has to say." - Italo Calvino

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9 ways to call someone a ‘liar’

9 ways to call someone a ‘liar’

Has someone been pulling the wool over your eyes? Have they been ‘economical with the truth’? Told you ‘terminological inexactitudes’? You can do better than just ‘liar’. Why don’t you try calling them out with this curated list of synonyms? After all, what stings more: ‘liar’ or ‘teller of untruths’? You can decide: 1. Teller […]

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tomatoes

9 pronunciation arguments you can stop having

A pronunciation that sounds off to you is one of those things that can stop a conversation cold. Sorry, what did you say? you ask, when you already know. And while there are plenty of pronunciations out there that are flat-out wrong, we thought that we might pick out some words that have multiple accepted […]

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espresso machine

6 words that everyone pronounces wrong

Sometimes it turns out that knowing how to use a word in a sentence and knowing how to pronounce it are two very different things. Here are several words that lots of people tend to get wrong and have no idea. 1. Espresso Any coffee lover worth their beans has had this argument. Technically, the pronunciation […]

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good book

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croquet

Death roll, leapfrog, and dambuster: the language of croquet

Now that spring and sunshine have reached Oxford, the croquet season has begun in earnest in college quads. Its reputation as a civilized, gentle pastime is confirmed by some of the terms used by players of the game: tea lady, dolly rush, trundle, and pirie poke. But the game has a nastier side too, witnessed […]

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