Tag: US

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Quiz: can you match the Word of the Year to the year?

Are you an expert on word trends? Every year, the Oxford Dictionaries editors select one word that they feel reflects “the ethos, mood, or preoccupations of that particular year” to award it with the ‘Word of the Year’ title. Over the years, the UK and US editorial teams have often chosen a different Word of […]

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Dialect and identity: Pittsburghese goes to the opera

On a Sunday afternoon in November I am at the Benedum Center with hundreds of fellow Pittsburghers watching a performance of Mozart’s “The Magic Flute.” It’s the second act, and Papageno the bird-man has just found his true love. The English super-titles help us decipher what he is saying as he starts to exit the […]

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The language of Prohibition-era gangsters: knowing your goons from your gumshoes

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Although this blog has already covered a number of the interesting words and phrases associated with the speakeasies of 1920’s and early 1930’s America, the period still has a number of gems. As today marks the anniversary of the conviction of notorious Chicago-based gangster Al ‘Scarface’ Capone, what better reason to revisit some of the […]

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