Culture - How Americanisms are killing the English language So it turns out I can no longer speak English. This was the alarming realisation foisted upon me by Matthew Engel’s witty, cantankerous yet nonetheless persuasive polemic That’s the Way it Crumbles: The American Conquest of English. Because by English, I mean British English. Despite having been born, raised and educated on British shores, it seems my mother tongue has been irreparably corrupted by the linguistic equivalent of the grey squirrel. And I’m not alone. Whether you’re a lover or a loather of phrases like “Can I get a decaf soy latte to go?” Speaking on the wireless in 1935, Alistair Cooke declared that “Every Englishman listening to me now unconsciously uses 30 or 40 Americanisms a day”. As a nation we’ve been both invaded and invader, and our language is all the richer for it But how did this happen and why should we care? The first American words to make it across the pond were largely utilitarian – signifiers for flora and fauna that didn’t exist back in Merrie England.
Which variety of English should you speak? Ahead of UN English Language Day on 23 April, English language and linguistics specialist Dr Urszula Clark presents research on variations in the use of English and what these could mean for education policy and teachers of English. Her live-streamed British Council seminar is later today from 19:00 to 20:00 BST. You are what you speak: place of origin most important identity factor My research took place in the West Midlands region of the UK and looked at variations in the use of English in creative spoken performance such as comedy, drama and poetry, as well as in written texts such as letters to local newspapers, stories and poems written in dialect. The results suggest that people are increasingly and deliberately using English in a way that identifies them with a particular place. Is there a ‘correct’ variety of English? The research highlights how dynamic, fragmented and mobile the English language has become. Which variety of English should we teach?
The History of the English Language, Animated By Maria Popova The history of language, that peculiar human faculty that Darwin believed was half art and half instinct, is intricately intertwined with the evolution of our species, our capacity for invention, our understanding of human biology, and even the progress of our gender politics. From the fine folks at Open University — who previously gave us these delightful 60-second animated syntheses of the world’s major religions, philosophy’s greatest thought experiments, and the major creative movements in design — comes this infinitely entertaining and illuminating animated history of the English language in 10 minutes: Complement with these 5 essential reads on language and the only surviving recording of Virginia Woolf’s voice, in which she explores the beauty of the English language.
English grammar: A complete guide Do you have a question about the correct usage of the semi-colon or how to place relative adverbs in a sentence? If so, you've come to the right place! The edufind.com English grammar guide is a complete reference on the rules of English usage. Every grammatical rule is explained in clear, simple language with several examples and, when necessary, counter-examples. The grammatical rules covered by this guide are categorized by part of speech. You will find the categories listed below. Comparisons Conditional Future Gerund and Present Participle Infinitive Passive Voice Past Present Functions and classes of determiners Articles Quantifiers Distributives
Weird facts about the English language. English surprises us all the time with some of the coolest and strangest features that it manifests. It has been the largest language to have been thoroughly studied, revealing more about the peculiarities of this language. I came to you today with some of the strangest facts that research has revealed about English. Aside from being a language where one drives in parkway and parks in a driveway, recites in a play and plays in a recital, here are some other facts about English: You may find this odd or unbelievably ridiculous but it isn't the language of the motto of the British Crown either, it is French: "[Mon] Dieu et mon Droit".... 2. You might have heard of this before, but if you haven't, it's your lucky day. If you look carefully at the numbers, a pattern immediately emerges. Neat, huh! 3. Here is a cool demonstration that shows what I'm talking about. 1. The meaning changes completely based on the word you stress. 4. 5. 6. With this last fact I conclude my article.
American English Dialects North American English Dialects, Based on Pronunciation Patterns Small-Scale Dialect Map The small map below is the same as the Full-Scale Dialect Map that follows, but shows the entire width of the map (on most monitors). 24-Aug.-2010 Click on any part of this map to move to the equivalent part of the Full-Scale Dialect Map. Full-Scale Dialect Map Instructions For many of the cities or towns on this map, you can listen to an audio or video sample of speech of a native (more specifically, someone who was raised there, though not necessarily born there, and whose dialect clearly represents that place). The cities and towns with a large dot are those which are larger or more important in each state or province. Use the scroll bars to move around on this map, or, even simpler, start at the tiny map above and click the country (U.S. or Canada) that you want to look at. The entire map is clickable, taking you to the list of samples for that state or province. Help! Map Notes Other Sources 1. 2.
I spent a year in the UK, and I still use these British slang words - Insider In the year I spent living in London, I picked up some British slang words that I still find myself using back home in New York. Wonky, dodgy, and many others have become mainstays in my vocabulary.I've also started referring to French fries as "chips" just like my British counterparts.The Brits have so many slang words that are a part of their everyday speech that some hardly seem like slang at all.Visit Insider's homepage for more stories. I lived in the UK for just over a year, and moved back to New York last month. There are a few things I miss about living across the pond, and one has to be the British language. Yes, I know it's still English — I'm talking about their slang words. The British have a way of using words to describe things that are often indescribable. Though I may no longer live there, I've brought a bit of London back home with me in my language.
Grammar A-Z Some grammatical terms may be familiar to you, but others can be confusing or hard to remember. Clicking on any term below will give you a quick and clear definition. Below the categorized section you’ll find all the terms listed from A–Z, so you can browse that way if you prefer. abstract noun A noun which refers to an idea, quality, or state (e.g. warmth, liberty, happiness), rather than a physical thing that can be seen or touched. Compare with concrete noun. active An active verb has a subject which is performing the action of the verb, for example: John ate the apple. The opposite of passive. adjective A word, such as heavy, red, or sweet, that is used to describe (or modify) a noun. adjunct A type of optional adverbial that adds extra information to a sentence, for instance: I can’t sleep at night. Read more about adverbials and adjuncts. adverb A word, such as very, really or slowly, that is used to give more information about an adjective, verb, or other adverb. adverbial affirmative agent
BBC Comedy - If Siri was Scottish. □