Category: English in use

Martin Sheen's character in the West Wing, President Jed Bartlet, has a notable example of Hollywood Latin

Latin in Hollywood

Although certain Latin words and phrases have been accepted wholesale into English – think of de facto, per capita, magnum opus, etc. (et cetera is another one!) – Latin is still capable of providing a certain gloss to a statement. When a politician talks about the vox populi rather than the ‘voice of the people’ […]

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Have a look at some of the best-known New York City words

The words of New York City

The City that Never Sleeps! Gotham! The Big Apple! The Capital of the World! The Five Boroughs! The City So Nice They Named It Twice! New York City is a city of not just many nicknames, but also of words and phrases. As not only one of the world’s major financial centers, but also a […]

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“Writing, when properly managed […] is but a different name for conversation.” - Laurence Sterne  (1713–1768)

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words that defined 2015 part two

From austerity to refugee: the words that defined 2015, part two

In late December, we took a look at satire, transgender, and other words that defined the first six months of 2015. Here’s the second and final part of our end-of-year roundup. austerity July The ongoing drama of the troubled Greek economy entered its final phase in the month of July this year when the governing […]

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Cliven and Ammon Bundy speaking at a forum hosted by the American Academy for Constitutional Education (AAFCE) at the Burke Basic School in Mesa, Arizona.

A tale of two militias: finding the right label for the Oregon protests

When an armed group occupied a federal building in Oregon to protest against the US government’s land management, the media quickly seized on the word ‘militia’ to describe them. The Guardian reported the incident with the headline ‘Oregon militia threatens showdown with US agents at wildlife refuge’; The Washington Post listed the ‘Key things to […]

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New York City food slang

How well do you know New York City food slang?

Home to some of the world’s most famous eateries and top-ranked restaurants, New York City has long had a love affair with food, a fact laid bare by the new reference work Savoring Gotham: A Food Lover’s Companion to New York City.

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railway and train phrases

Terms and phrases from trains and railways

We’ve been letting the train take the strain when it comes to moving ourselves or goods from A to B for around 200 years. Although there were locomotive steam engines (that is, engines that moved as opposed to fixed ones) in operation some years before George Stephenson’s pioneering invention the Rocket was launched in 1829, […]

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words that defined 2015 satire

From satire to transgender: the words that defined 2015, part one

As the year is drawing to a close, we have decided to take a look back at the events that shaped the past twelve months – and the words connected to them. Here is the first part of our end-of-year retrospective of the twelve words that defined 2015… satire January On 7 January, two armed […]

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