Tag: BBC

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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shipping forecast

‘Rain later. Good, occasionally poor’: what does the shipping forecast mean?

Listeners to BBC Radio 4 have a strange affection for its shipping forecast. Although it is basically just a weather forecast, the hypnotic sounds of its intoning, occurring at the same extremely precise four times every day, recalls the chanting of the monastic hours. Its lyrical qualities have been the inspiration of poets such as […]

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500 words

500 words: stories from a wider world

The BBC Radio 2 500 WORDS competition, run by the Chris Evans Breakfast Show, asks children aged 5-13 to compose an original work of fiction in no more than 500 words. For the past four years, Oxford Dictionaries for Children has collected and analysed all of the words used by young writers in the competition. […]

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TopGear

WordWatch roundup: fracas, sack, elevator, and shindig

This series investigates changes in lookups for words and their meanings across OxfordDictionaries.com. The graphs are based on website data collected over a four-week period, and the accompanying commentary explores how news and other current events have influenced these word trends and sudden peaks in interest. fracas, noun Earlier this week, following a ‘fracas’ with […]

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Video: acronyms and initialisms – what’s the difference?

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The BBC and Standard English

Hark! Is that the sound of bastions crumbling?

Shock, horror! The BBC, once revered as a paragon of correct English, seems to have slipped from its pedestal of late. Many people (including me, as I blogged about here) have become increasingly irritated or concerned by our national broadcaster’s lapses from the norm when it comes to English grammar, usage, and pronunciation. Is this […]

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