Idioms – as clear as mud? Miranda Steel is a freelance ELT lexicographer and editor. She has worked as a Senior Editor for dictionaries for learners at OUP and has also worked for COBUILD. In this post, she looks at some of the weird and wonderful idioms in the English language. Idioms are commonly used in spoken and written English. They add colour and interest to what we are saying. A Brief Guide to Embodied Cognition: Why You Are Not Your Brain Embodied cognition, the idea that the mind is not only connected to the body but that the body influences the mind, is one of the more counter-intuitive ideas in cognitive science. In sharp contrast is dualism, a theory of mind famously put forth by Rene Descartes in the 17th century when he claimed that “there is a great difference between mind and body, inasmuch as body is by nature always divisible, and the mind is entirely indivisible… the mind or soul of man is entirely different from the body.” In the proceeding centuries, the notion of the disembodied mind flourished. From it, western thought developed two basic ideas: reason is disembodied because the mind is disembodied and reason is transcendent and universal. However, as George Lakoff and Rafeal Núñez explain:
If You've Never Used These English Idioms, You're Probably Not a Native Engli... Those of us who grew up with English as our first language have been exposed to idioms and idiomatic expressions for most of our lives. They may have confused us a little when we were children, but explanation and constant exposure not only increased our understanding of them, but likely drew them into our own vernacular. If you’re in the process of learning the English language, you may come across some of these and not be entirely sure what they mean. Here’s a list of 20 that you’re likely to come across fairly often: Imagine A Flying Pig: How Words Take Shape In The Brain : Shots - Health News hide captionAlthough a flying pig doesn't exist in the real world, our brains use what we know about pigs and birds — and superheroes — to create one in our mind's eye when we hear or read those words. iStockphoto.com Although a flying pig doesn't exist in the real world, our brains use what we know about pigs and birds — and superheroes — to create one in our mind's eye when we hear or read those words.
The Mind is a Metaphor: As It Were As It Were · 2006-09-27 by Brad Pasanek Must we mean what we say? In the case of metaphor, meaning is underspecified, patently false, or—according to some theorists—somehow transmuted. Somehow changed. Words must mean just what they mean.1 But what of speakers? What of writers? 100 Exquisite Adjectives By Mark Nichol Adjectives — descriptive words that modify nouns — often come under fire for their cluttering quality, but often it’s quality, not quantity, that is the issue. Plenty of tired adjectives are available to spoil a good sentence, but when you find just the right word for the job, enrichment ensues. Practice precision when you select words.
25 Common Phrases That You're Saying Wrong Being a freelance writer, I often find myself messing up common phrases. When I’m unsure, I do a quick Google search to make sure that what I’m writing is actually what I’m trying to say. This inspired me to come up with a list of common phrases that people frequently get wrong. Some of them aren’t completely our fault because the incorrect way of saying them has actually become the “norm”.
13 Wonderful Old English Words We Should Still Be Using Today As the years pass, language evolves. Since the days of Chaucer and Shakespeare, we can all agree English has become less flowery. Some fantastic vocabulary just dropped out of everyday conversation. Author Mark Forsyth writes about the words we’ve lost. From his book “Horologicon” to his Tumblr and published articles, we compiled a list of the best words that need reviving. 1. Cliche Finder Have you been searching for just the right cliché to use? Are you searching for a cliché using the word "cat" or "day" but haven't been able to come up with one? Just enter any words in the form below, and this search engine will return any clichés which use that phrase... Over 3,300 clichés indexed! What exactly is a cliche?
Careful, writers! 10 common words with opposite meanings The English language is full of words with uncommon properties. There are backronyms, metaplasms, and neologisms. My favorite words of unusual properties are contranyms, or words that are spelled the same, but have two opposite meanings. These words are also known as Janus words, named after the Roman god of gates and doorways and of beginnings and endings. Janus words teach us the importance of context and bring a whole new meaning to the phrase “use it in a sentence.” Here are a few examples:
Eat. Live. Laugh. and sometimes shop!: 50 most beautiful English words. A few weeks ago I ran across a list, which I shared with you, of 33 Ways to Stay Creative. One suggestion was to read a page in the dictionary. That one stuck with me.