Category: English in use

rude-kids

Sometimes, people ask me, “What’s your favorite swear word?” I don’t know why. Also, I don’t know what to say. I’m interested in profanity but not especially invested in one word over another. It’s not a competition. They all have their uses, or we wouldn’t use them. I’d have to say something like, “Well, Fuck! […]

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Video: is a jellyfish a fish?

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Next to reading Jane Austen's novels, we love watching adaptations of them - but how historically accurate has the dialogue been over the past few years?

Love and language in Jane Austen adaptions

Jane Austen achieved some success as an author during her own lifetime. Her first published novel, Sense and Sensibility (1811), was reviewed well and sold out of copies after about a year. Her second, Pride and Prejudice also sold well as did Mansfield Park, followed by Emma. She completed six novels in all, but the […]

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From Madge to the Modfather, the Chairman of the Board to the Lizard King, there’s something to the titles we give musicians.

Forgive me, Bey. For I have sinned. Last Thursday, I called Britney Spears ‘The Queen’ in an over-punctuated, but seemingly innocuous, tweet. ‘So excited for #Glory. Brit is da QUEEN!!!!!’ Oh, you sweet, simple fool. My Twitter erupted in flames. Under fire from Little Monsters, Swifties, Lovatics, and Selenators. Beyonce fans, however, (the Bey Hive), […]

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The English language has many expressions relating to animals.

10 British animal idioms and expressions

Think you’re the cat’s whiskers – or even the dog’s bollocks – when it comes to knowing your animal idioms in British English? You’re probably right – so the next time you’re listening to your friend rabbiting on, why not try dropping one of the following common British expressions into your conversation? You’ll soon sound […]

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lots-of-books

A rallying cry for more subgenres, please

Spend twenty minutes on Pandora and you’ll be told that you prefer folk-influenced indie rock with strong harmonies. Toss a few star ratings into your Netflix account, and they’ll offer you a near-endless supply of dark murder mysteries with a strong female lead. Somehow, though, the technology gods have not seen fit to bestow on […]

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While it is commonly used in psychology to describe a type of mental illness, mania can also mean ‘an obsessive enthusiasm for a particular thing’ in a broader, everyday sense.

36 words ending in –mania

Like the combining forms –phobia and –cracy, which we have discussed previously, –mania forms part of numerous English words. While it is commonly used in psychology to describe a type of mental illness, mania can also mean ‘an obsessive enthusiasm for a particular thing’ in a broader, everyday sense. But have a look at our […]

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Schrödinger’s cat: What can cats tell us about physics, philosophy, and language?

What can cats tell us about physics, philosophy, and language?

Take a cat, a Geiger counter, a radioactive sample that has a fifty-fifty chance of decaying in an hour, some cyanide in a glass phial, and a metal box. Lock the cat into the box together with the other equipment rigged up so that if an atom of the radioactive substance decays it triggers the […]

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