Category: Grammar and writing help

American vs British pronunciation: zebra

American vs British pronunciation: 7 words to watch out for

Americans and Brits. There are some things that we have different words for (zucchini vs courgette, stroller vs pram), and some words we use for different things (always make sure you’ve agreed on a common meaning of pants before you broach the topic). Some words we spell differently – the pesky ‘u’ to remember to […]

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Why English is so hard to learn: silent letters

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What are the plurals of ‘octopus’, ‘hippopotamus’, and ‘syllabus’?

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Does the BBC dictate proper pronunciation?

BBC English: does it dictate proper pronunciation?

Language use and notions of correctness have always been central matters for large sections of British society – especially those concerned with class, status, and education. Throughout its history, the BBC played a central role in disseminating what is considered ‘proper’ pronunciation. In its early days, the BBC was even meant to not only entertain […]

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Video: bring or take?

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swallows arguing

9 words to argue about with your friends

When it comes to pronunciation, there’s always something to argue about. And we’ve all done it –whether standing in line at Starbucks arguing about espresso or throwing down about whether or not to enunciate the ‘r’ in the second month of the year. So here’s more grist for the argument mill. 1. timbre If you’re […]

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Use these medical pronunciations to avoid being embarrassed at the doctor's office

Avoid embarrassment at the doctor’s office

There’s really nothing worse than pronouncing an obvious word incorrectly – especially when you do it in front of someone who’s an authority on the word. The doctor’s office is one of many places where we find ourselves in this sort of situation. Let’s have a quick look at some words that may cause an […]

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Should we capitalize the word Internet?

Should you capitalize the word Internet?

The question of whether the word internet should be capitalized is so passionately debated and rife with controversy that it has its own Wikipedia article. The latest salvo in the capitalization wars came from the Associated Press Stylebook, which announced that as of June 1, the AP’s style will stipulate that internet and web (with […]

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