There are 7 posts.
It may be tricky for Americans to understand the British accent, British humour or peculiar British lexicon. But for America’s deaf community, understanding British sign language is even more alien. Sign language isn’t always a direct replication of spoken language but has its own structures – and these also differ from country to country. “Many […]more
Let’s have a look at regional words that arise in the distinctly creative sphere of insults. In particular, we will be investigating words used in Northern Irish English, though due to its strong links with other regional varieties—especially Scottish and Irish—some of these terms will be familiar to people hailing from other parts of the […]more
Crying is one of the first things that any of us do in our lives. It tends to happen again at the most important moments in life – whether as a sign of happiness or sadness – and some of us find it’s an involuntary reaction to anything from pieces of music to absorbing stories. […]more
In these times of mass media and global communications, it is comforting to think that regional lexical variation in British English is alive and well—in fact it seems to be right up many people’s alley. When linguists set out to collect distinctive local vocabulary, one of the classic questions informants are asked is “What do […]more
It goes without saying: the United States is a huge country. And while this certainly has some drawbacks (the formidable amount of time it takes to get from one coast to the other, for instance), the United States’ significant landmass also yields significant diversity—particularly when it comes to language. I’m not only talking about the […]more
Language has always been more fashion than science: as Bill Bryson once said, the way we use it ‘wanders around like hemlines’. A couple of weeks ago, the Washington newspaper the Olympian ran an article headed ‘When visiting the South, please leave fake accent at home’. Its writer, Kathleen Parker, finds political charlatan accents among […]more
Far more than any other country, Canadians are known for turning their statements into rhetorical questions by adding eh? to the end, or even the middle, of a sentence. It’s a useful way to involve the listener in what is being said, whether by inviting agreement or just by checking to see whether the person […]more