Tag Archives: BBC

Can your local accent hold you back?

Do people need to change their local accents to get on in life? The answer is “yes” according to those advocating a prescriptivist approach to language use who often emphasize that in professional settings and in job interviews local accents … Continue reading

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#Fundilymundily the language of the UK general election 2015

With the UK general election just behind us, the talk of the language used in the debates still lies ahead. Last night, on the grammar phone-in of the BBC Radio 5’s Up All Night, the presenter Dotun Adebayo discussed the … Continue reading

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On REsearch again

January is a month of correction work in our department: I calculated that I corrected some 200,000 words (!) of student work last month. (I only got likes when I announced this on facebook in the beginning of January.) I’m … Continue reading

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The future of English

At the turn of the calendar year, we are usually making (soon-to-be-broken) resolutions and speculating about the future. It comes as no surprise that linguists have been exchanging their views on the future of English in the previous weeks, John … Continue reading

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Railway station or train station?

One of the pet peeves of the British English-speaking language pedants has traditionally been the usage of Americanisms, which we have written and surveyed our readers about in our previous posts. In my research of the complaints about language use, … Continue reading

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A lost cause?

Yesterday Scotland has voted and decided to stay within the United Kingdom. Today newspapers are filled with punchy and informative headlines analysing the outcome of the Scottish referendum. When I was reading an article in The Independent, my eyes fell immediately … Continue reading

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No hard language feelings?

The use of English, or rather its misuse, has often caused the one or the other to throw up his or her (or their?) hands in horror. Last month I attended the English Grammar Day at the British Library in … Continue reading

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Censoring the ‘G-word’

Within the political correctness (PC) movements, many words addressing discrimination ended up on the banned list throughout the years. However, the PC vocabulary has a number of opponents as well, who rightfully claim that the PC movement is occasionally used … Continue reading

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BBC Radio 4: on now

How topical our project is! In a few moments the following feature will appear on air: Harry Ritchie is a writer and former literary editor of the Sunday Times. His latest book, English for the Natives, outlines the rules and … Continue reading

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An Academy of English?

Even if Great Britain never had an Academy of English similar to the France’s Académie Française or the Spain’s Real Academia Española, authority is still assigned to different bodies. But to whom? The desire for having a standard to hold … Continue reading

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