principal principle

Quiz: principal or principle?

Do you sometimes confuse principal and principle? Test yourself with our short quiz. Find out how to use principal and principle correctly in a sentence.

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ballet

Quiz: how well do you know the language of ballet?

If you dream of sugar plum fairies and landing that perfect grand jeté, then this is the quiz for you! Whether you could plié before you could walk or are a devoted fan but have never stepped up to the barre yourself, let’s see how well you’ve picked up on ballet lingo. Take the quiz […]

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wisdom tree

Finding wisdom in Old English

Anglo-Saxon literature is full of advice on how to live a good life. Many Anglo-Saxon poems and proverbs describe the characteristics a wise person should strive to possess, offering counsel on how to treat others and how to obtain and use wisdom in life. Here are some words in Old English (the name we give […]

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double consonants

Double trouble (or accommodating doubled consonants in English)

The presence of doubled consonants in certain words can present a great challenge for students attempting to get to grips with English spelling. The sound of a word will often give an idea of whether a single letter or a double is required, but it is quite possible for two words to sound alike and […]

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Video: is it OK to split infinitives?

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blackadder

How accurate was the sitcom Blackadder?

Blackadder is a character from a BBC TV period sitcom series which ran from 1983 to 1989, also named Blackadder. Each of the four series was set in a different historical period: the Middle Ages, Elizabethan age, Restoration, and First World War. Rumours of a fifth series have recently resurfaced in an interview with Tony […]

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Portuguese2

What’s the difference between European and Brazilian Portuguese?

As a native Brazilian who has spent most of her life in Portugal, you could say my Portuguese is of the mid-Atlantic variety. So how do Brazilian and European Portuguese differ? Overall, there are far more similarities than differences between the two, but there are a few variations in terms of pronunciation, vocabulary, grammar, and […]

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The word manspreading was popularized by the MTA, although they they never officially used it.

Manspreading: how New York City’s MTA popularized a word without actually saying it

New York City, home of Oxford Dictionaries’ New York offices, has made numerous contributions to the English lexicon through the years, as disparate as knickerbocker and hip hop. One of Gotham’s most recent impacts was the popularization of manspreading, defined in the latest update of Oxford Dictionaries as ‘the practice whereby a man, especially one […]

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