Lessons in the "EnglishLanguage" Category

English Words of the Year 2015

Today we will look at the English words of the year 2015, as noted by the Collins English Dictionary. These are the words and phrases in the UK that Lexicographers have noticed a significant rise in their usage over the last year.

We’ll start with the ‘word of the year’ that according to Collins is Binge-watching. This is where we stay in to watch more than three episodes of a series in a day. Apparently, 90% of Brits now do this!

New words added to latest Oxford Dictionary online

More than 1,000 new words have been added to the Oxford Dictionary online. In its latest update OxfordDictionaries.com reveals the current trends in the usage of the English language.

Currently British men are offending commuters by manspreading. Stop! Its beer o’clock! In the pub later Britons are talking about the Grexit and the Brexit while having a brain fart whilst enjoying a beer. It is all NBD.

Office Stationery and Equipment

Today let’s talk about office stationery and office equipment. Here is a selection… Things that hold pieces of paper together include: staples that are in a stapler, Sellotape, a bulldog clip and a paperclip. The latter can be kept in a paperclip holder. To remove the staple in the paper we use a staple remover! Rubber bands can be used to bundle paper documents together.

A ‘Pritt’ stick, a form of glue, can sometimes be useful to glue things together. ‘Blue-Tak’ or drawing pins are used to pin pieces of paper on a notice board. A hole-punch makes two holes in paper to allow paper to be joined together.

Category: Business / Office stationery / Office equipment

Why you need to speak more than one language!

Today, let’s focus on why you need to speak more than one language in the world today. The first part of the discussion focuses on the negative attitude and ignorance of many British people in Britain when it comes to speaking a second or third language. Frankly, most can’t communicate in another language. Most Brits can only speak English, as ‘English is the business language of the world so we don’t need to speak any other language except English!’

Category: Education / Languages / Business

‘Twerk’ and ‘Selfie’ – headline new words added to Oxford Dictionaries Online

Recently ‘Twerk’ and ‘Selfie’ headlined new words added to the Oxford Dictionaries Online. Today’s generation of young people have created plenty of other new words. Their priority interests are technology, fashion, food and self-involvement; the ‘me, me, me’ generation! These areas are all reflected in the latest quarterly update to the online dictionary.

‘Twerk’ is a dance to popular music in a sexually provocative manner. Miley Cyrus famously did a twerk at the MTV Awards. ‘Selfie’ means when you have taken a photo of yourself, usually with a smartphone or webcam.

Category: English / Dictionary / New Words

How the internet is affecting how we learn and speak English

Today, let’s talk about how the internet is affecting the way we speak and learn English. Perhaps a good example is this British English lesson that stems from the internet.

The World Wide Web today offers people many ways to learn and speak English. Web pages include news, movie clips and social networking sites. All offer a fast instant learning process.

Category: Language / English / Internet

Patients die in Britain as foreign doctors can’t speak English properly

Patients have died in Britain because British MPs failed to ensure foreign doctors working out-of-hours shifts can speak English properly. The matter hit the headlines recently in the British press. Alarm bells were sounded by some senior British MPs who stressed: “The next government must ‘as a matter of extreme urgency’ demand changes to a 2005 EU directive governing the free movement of labour in an effort to prevent more deaths at the hands of incompetent foreign GPs.”

The report criticised NHS bodies for failing to use other vetting powers. MPs said it was wrong that Britain was sticking rigidly to EU rules, which outlaw checks on overseas GPs’ language skills – while France openly flouted them. The Commons Health select committee also poured scorn on the Government for agreeing to GPs’ demands for a lucrative contract which makes it too easy for them to opt out of responsibility for out-of-hours care. This has forced the NHS to bring in doctors from abroad.

Grammar - Revise your symbols

Today, I thought it would be useful to revise some symbols. We sometimes use symbols in our writing e.g. we use @ for at in our e- mail addresses somewhere. On our keyboards we can use € for euro, ₤ for pound, and $ for dollar. We might even squeeze in a number (i.e. #) or shorten and to &. We also use % for percent and = for equals, also > for greater than and < for less than.

A star (asterisk) (i.e.*) is a reference mark used to indicate an explanatory sentence or paragraph at the bottom of a page. A * is also used to replace a letter or letters left out in swear words to avoid them becoming objectionable, yet conveying the same force meant by the speaker e.g. He replied, “Don't be such a b***** fool!” We can also use a * for example when talking about a 3* hotel. An asterisk is often used to mean multiply in programming languages.

Revise your punctuation - 2

Today we’ll look at some more English language punctuation marks.

Don’t confuse a dash (i.e.–) with a hyphen! (i.e.-) A dash is used to denote a sudden change in the construction or sentiment: e.g. “The heroes of the Great War – how we cherish them.” A dash is also used to replace the words: (that is, namely) e.g. He excelled in three sports – football, rugby, and cricket.

Revise your punctuation! - 1

Many students are good at reading articles in English but when it comes to punctuation in dictation (a listening, writing and spelling exercise) they sometimes run into problems.

While we use punctuation marks in written form we don’t often say them aloud. It is of course just a question of remembering them after learning them. The question is though how good are you at remembering them?

Even native English people forget their punctuation! So where should we start? We all hopefully know where a full stop (point, dot or period) (i.e. .) goes - at the end of a sentence! Probably a comma (i.e. ,), but let’s double-check everything.