Tag: Words and Language
Cornwall and the Linguistic Diaspora
You can sometimes find acquaintance and commonality in the most unusual places. I first found Alexis Chateau’s blog around two years ago. I can’t quite remember how, maybe it was the chronicles of her travels around the southern US states. Yet it ended up being her posts on Jamaican culture that I found the most…
Origins of the English Language: The Norman Conquest
Other titles in this series: Anglo-Saxons; Vikings Let’s get one thing out of the way before we start… whether you call him William: Duke of Normany, William the Bastard or William the Conqueror the man who invaded England from Normandy was not French. He hated the French and they hated him. He was actually of…
Figurative Speech: Oxymorons
Oxymorons – they can be amusing or ironic, or they can give you a headache as you try to get your head around them. We use oxymorons all the time. They are terms that make sense initially, but appear to present a contradiction by fusing together two different and opposing words or terms.
Words With Different Meanings (US vs UK): Cider Edition
As a west country lad, it is pretty much expected of me to like cider. I freely admit to this being a recent addition to my alcohol tastes. I have friends in Bristol, lived in Devon for five years and my girlfriend lives in Cornwall.
Figurative Speech: Paradox
Paradoxes make my head hurt – at least the scientific ones do – and a couple of years ago I went to a talk at Winchester Discovery Centre on the world’s greatest paradoxes given, no less, than by Jim Al Khalili. Those are not the sorts of paradoxes I want to talk about here. I…
The Power of Words: The Language of Politics
Around election time, the language of our politicians changes. We all know how much they use spin and photo opportunities to sway us to vote for them, but I’ve noticed that certain words get used more than at any other time during a Parliament.
Figurative Speech: Alliteration
What is alliteration and how do we use it? It is the use of a sequence of words where the consonant sounds are similar or each word in the sentence begins with the same letter or letters. The words may not sound the same, but by starting with the same letter(s) it feels as if…
Figurative Speech: Hyperbole and Meiosis
It’s often hard to present the idea that language studies and linguistics can be fun or funny, but when we look at issues like syntactic ambiguity we can see that it can be. I’m starting a new series, sort of, with no promises on how many I will do or how often I will publish posts on…
Wrong Word Wednesday Special: “Fall” vs “Autumn”
What season are we in now? Depending on the country you were born in if English is your first language, or which “version” of English you learnt as a second language, you will give one of two words: autumn (if you are British, Australian or from New Zealand) or fall (if you are American; Canadians I understand…
Syntactic Ambiguity – English Language at its Funniest
No wait, don’t run away, please don’t be put off by the term “syntactic ambiguity” – yes I know it sounds dry and a bit like what you learnt in school and never want to learn again, it’s fun. In fact it’s one of the most amusing facets of the English language. Don’t believe me?…