Category: English in use

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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“If you wish to advance into the infinite, explore the finite in all directions.” - Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

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Video: how many is a billion?

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drive thru

11 spelling changes that would make English easier

Editorial note: we are not advocating that you use these alternate spellings in formal settings; in fact, these spellings are best avoided unless your style guide prefers them. The English language is famous for its many quirks and exceptions to the rule, which can make it a difficult language to learn. One of the areas […]

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“The original writer is not he who refrains from imitating others, but he who can be imitated by none.” - François-René, Vicomte de Chateaubriand

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