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Yes, we are judged on our accents. If a Liverpudlian child had aspirations to be a doctor, would the fact that he or she pronounced doctor as if spelt with four cs and not one be a hindrance?

Yes, we are judged on our accents

Before even buying the Fisher Price stethoscope, should parents take a surgical scalpel to slice out extraneous consonants and sharpen sloppy vowels? Esther McVey, the Liverpool-born employment minister, has said that people should not feel the need to “neutralise” their accents in order to get ahead in life. Never mind the hyperbolics. Please can I have some less? In the 1980s, it became fashionable for footballers to talk about “giving 100%” on the pitch, or “being 100% committed” to their clubs.

Never mind the hyperbolics. Please can I have some less?

Before long, this was regularly upgraded to 110%. But even the impossible was soon deemed inadequate. By the 90s, players up and down the country were reportedly putting in 120%, 200% and 300% of their maximum possible effort. The Language Politicians Use Is Damaging Politics  With 24 hour news, twitter and every word said by a politician scrutinised, the dominance of spin has left the language used by politicians sterilised.

The Language Politicians Use Is Damaging Politics 

After Tony Blair was elected as leader of the Labour party, his enforcement of the party line and his emphasis on media relations were seen as the peak of the evolution of spin; something with which New Labour is now, rightly or wrongly, completely synonymous. Spin doctors made the Labour party a formidable electoral force, but what have they meant for the UK's politics as a whole? Ahead of this year's EU Parliament elections I interviewed the Green MEP Jean Lambert; during the interview she told me that she was baffled by the insistent use by mainstream politics of phrases like 'hard working families'.

Advertising and Language: The Power of Words. It is possible that the evolution and progress of humanity have, as a deeper root, our communication skills.

Advertising and Language: The Power of Words

The use and abuse of language has allowed us to push our thinking to the outside - or distort its content - and send misleading messages, which in disciplines such as marketing can severely affect the level of persuasion a brand would like to achieve on its consumers. Countless campaigns are developed around the world with the sole purpose of positioning products and generating massive brigades over the shelves on what are the most powerful retail chains in the world. Oscar Pistorius trial: Is it a court of law or a bear pit? Enter the adversarial advocate – Gerrie Nel - Comment - Voices - The Independent.

Sadly, the everyday reality of courtroom drama is more prosaic, with few climactic revelations and even fewer demands by a gavel-banging judge that the spectators settle down or he will clear the court.

Oscar Pistorius trial: Is it a court of law or a bear pit? Enter the adversarial advocate – Gerrie Nel - Comment - Voices - The Independent

So when a new star enters the firmament of public law, we instinctively give him our admiration. Even when it’s in the unpromising environment of North Gauteng High Court, Pretoria, South Africa. For two weeks, it was just the Oscar Show. Skivers v strivers: the argument that pollutes people's minds. Link to video: Skivers v strivers: the benefits debate explained | Animation "Skiver" v "striver".

Skivers v strivers: the argument that pollutes people's minds

It suits Cameron's tabloid-slick delivery and Steve Hilton's blue-sky viciousness, but how did it go viral? Why does Ed Miliband now use "striver" as though it were an acceptable way to describe someone, by a stranger's groundless estimation of how hard they are hypothetically trying? The skiver, in opposition parlance, is always unmentioned, yet he lurks; Labour won't tolerate him either, this feckless bogeyman of Westminster's devising. Saying that a killer ‘snapped’ is not an explanation for domestic violence. By Libby Copeland July 21, 2014 Cassidy Stay, center, is comforted after a funeral service last week for her parents and three siblings, who were shot to death allegedly by Ronald Lee Haskell.

Saying that a killer ‘snapped’ is not an explanation for domestic violence

(AP Photo/David J. Phillip) Calling teachers Sir and Miss 'depressing and sexist' 14 May 2014Last updated at 01:20 ET Calling teachers "Sir" or "Miss" is depressing, sexist and gives women in schools a lower status than their male counterparts, an academic has said.

Calling teachers Sir and Miss 'depressing and sexist'

Prof Jennifer Coates told the Times Educational Supplement "Sir is a knight... but Miss is ridiculous - it doesn't match Sir at all". Using the word 'gay' to mean 'crap' is a form of bullying of gay people. I like to think I'm down with youth culture and its slang.

Using the word 'gay' to mean 'crap' is a form of bullying of gay people

Well, a bit anyway. I understand that the word "sick" can mean "cool", and "bare" can mean "a lot". This is pretty much the limit of my knowledge. The Lingua File: Remembering September 11: How One Day Changed the Way We Speak. As anyone with a calendar will know, yesterday was September 11.

The Lingua File: Remembering September 11: How One Day Changed the Way We Speak

Thirteen years have passed since the terrorist attacks by al-Qaeda on the World Trade Center in New York City and the Pentagon in Washington D.C., and for many, the memories are still fresh in their minds. Like most catastrophic events, September 11th led to a huge number of cultural changes in the United States and across the world. There were obvious changes, like how air travel security measures changed drastically seemingly overnight. It wasn't just air travel that changed however, as governments kept busy introducing new legislation to reduce the chances of a similar attack happening in the future. One cultural change that isn't as obvious has been the changes to the English language since 2001, which have been quite astounding.

UNSPEAK. HSBC 'demises' jobs – another absurd business euphemism. Body language for cosmetic surgeons. 'Chopping off the end of your nose does not guarantee you a prince'. Photograph: Fox Photos/Getty Images My memory for the things people say is poor; names are a struggle, as are facts, places, under which clock we were meant to meet and when – but there are some things I'll never forget.

Don’t be beguiled by Orwell: using plain and clear language is not always a moral virtue. Orwell season has led me back to his famous essay “Politics and the English Language”, first published in 1946. It is written with enviable clarity. But is it true? Orwell argues that “the great enemy of clear language is insincerity. Decoding a Menu at Root & Bone. Photo The menu at Root & Bone, a Southern restaurant that opened in Alphabet City in June, is loaded with precision-engineered descriptions like “Drunken Deviled Eggs,” “Crispy Free-Range Bucket of Bird” and a breadless BLT that promises to “tickle your pickle.”

But on a recent evening, Dan Jurafsky, a linguistics professor at Stanford, was puzzling over the redundancy of “local upstate New York grits.” It didn’t quite have the protest-too-much ring of the promise of “real butter” at a greasy spoon, but it did prompt a potted (or maybe Mason jarred?) Lecture on the principles known as Grice’s conversational maxims, after the philosopher H. Paul Grice. Language in Conflict - Language in Conflict. The state of our union is … dumber: How the linguistic standard of the presidential address has declined. Loaded Words: How Language Shapes The Gun Debate : It's All Politics. Hide captionAdvocates for and against stronger gun laws demonstrate in the Pennsylvania Capitol on Jan. 23 in Harrisburg, Pa.

Matt Rourke/AP Advocates for and against stronger gun laws demonstrate in the Pennsylvania Capitol on Jan. 23 in Harrisburg, Pa. The country has been debating gun regulations for months. Later this week, a Senate committee will start work on various proposals, including a background check on every gun sale and a ban on assault weapons. John Lanchester: the worst jargon in economics and banking. Here are my favourite, or least favourite (it can be hard to tell the difference, sometimes), pieces of economic jargon: AusterityAusterity is a real weasel word, because it’s an attempt to make something value-based and abstract out of something which in reality consists simply of spending cuts. What’s especially sneaky is that austerity is, in personal terms, a virtue. It’s good to be austere in respect of one’s own eating and drinking, fitness and finances and personal spending. This has nothing to do with government policies such as the bedroom tax: policies like that lead to specific people suffering specific losses, with nothing abstract about them.

Office workers use 'pointless jargon' Why do politicians use business jargon? Stephen King: why the US must introduce limited gun controls. Language in Conflict - Negation. Heists and mayhem: the language of crime. Don’t be beguiled by Orwell: using plain and clear language is not always a moral virtue. Obama/Clinton Debate. If Obama had been Lincoln: 10 lines from Obama’s Second Inaugural Address that wouldn’t have been used in 1865. Language and power. A user's guide to art-speak. Skivers v strivers: the argument that pollutes people's minds. David Starkey "Whites Have Become Blacks" London Riots.Quotes From Enoch Powell's Rivers Of Blood Speech. Newnsight debate.docx - DocDroid. Mitt Romney vs. the English Language. The shared language of sport and politics.