New words – 6 July 2015

July 6, 2015


generation pause noun informal young adults who are not able to do things previously typical for their age group such as buy a home or start a family because of lack of money

Meanwhile, a new study released last week revealed a quarter of Brits believe they’ll never own a property, leading them to be dubbed ‘generation pause’ – an entire generation trapped in a kidult lifestyle not being able to afford to do the ‘grown-up’ stuff, like buying property, getting married and having kids.

[Grazia (UK celebrity magazine) 13 October 2014]

shift parenting noun an approach to childcare in which the parents take turns to look after the children between work shifts

For a family with two children who need full-time childcare, so-called shift parenting – in which one parent is always at home while the other is at work – saves an average of £11,700 a year.

[http://www.theguardian.com 29 December 2014]

spreadsheet parenting noun the practice of over-scheduling one’s offspring’s life

‘Spreadsheet parenting’ and ‘friend-parents’ are said to be leading children into ill-equipped lives, lacking the tools to decide for themselves what they really want… Do you agree […]

[www.parenthoodtoday.tv 04 December 2014]

About new words


July 4th, Bastille Day, and the language of revolution.

July 1, 2015

by Liz Walter​
With America’s Independence Day on the 4th and France’s Bastille Day on the 14th, July certainly has a revolutionary theme, so this blog looks at words and phrases we use to talk about the dramatic and nation-changing events that these days celebrate. In particular, it focuses on one of the most important skills for advanced learners of English, which is collocation, or the way words go together.

July 4, 1776 was the day on which Americans declared independence from Great Britain. When a country becomes independent, it gains independence, and if a ruling country allows another one to become independent, it grants independence to it.

Bastille Day marks the beginning of the French Revolution. On July 14, 1789 a group of rioters attacked the Bastille fortress in order to seize weapons and explosives. We refer to this event as the Storming of the Bastille, and it is still common to talk about troops or gunmen storming a building when it is a fast, violent attack. Read the rest of this entry »


New words – 29 June 2015

June 29, 2015


burger noun a menu on a computer screen comprising three short parallel horizontal lines which the user clicks to see options

Definitely use a burger. You could put the settings in the burger menu too. Fix the settings to the bottom of the burger menu and use a vertically scrolling contact list that scrolls behind the settings button.

[http://ux.stackexchange.com/ 14 November 2014]

flash sale noun an e-commerce business model in which a product is offered at a substantial discount for a very limited period. Potential takers register as members of the website and receive online offers.

Flash sale companies are growing fast. Evan Davis and guests discuss how this new retail sector is changing the way we shop.

[www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b04lstkr 23 October 2014]

GAFA abbreviation the companies Google, Apple, Facebook and Amazon, seen as one entity

But the spread of the term ‘GAFA’ may be as much to do with cultural resentment as taxes. ‘I think it’s more about distribution of power in the online world than tax avoidance,’ Liam Boogar, founder of the French start-up site, Rude Baguette, tells Quartz. France, after all, is a country with a long history of resisting US cultural hegemony.

[http://qz.com 01 December 2014]

About new words


The cake was made by my sister: how to use the passive in English.

June 24, 2015

by Liz Walter​
Look at these two sentences:

My sister made the cake.

The cake was made by my sister.

Both these sentences mean the same. The first is an active sentence: it tells you what the sister did. The second is a passive sentence: it tells you what happened to the cake.

Here are some more passive sentences. Note that we use by before the person or thing that does something, and with before the thing that is used to do it:

‘Hamlet’ was written by Shakespeare.

The pieces of wood were cut by a machine.

The rope was cut with a sharp knife. Read the rest of this entry »


New words – 22 June 2015

June 22, 2015


nanobrewery noun a brewery that produces beer in very small quantities, less than a microbrewery

Although East Dallas is no stranger to craft breweries, On Rotation is a little different than anything else we’ve seen before. It’s what could be described as a nano-brewery — bigger than a homebrewery, but smaller than a microbrewery.

[lakewood.advocatemag.com (online local news, Texas, US) 23 October 2014]

microplay noun a very short play

Rafe Spall stars in a microplay written by Roy Williams and directed by Clint Dyer after a conversation with Barney Ronay

[www.theguardian.com 24 November 2014]

small data noun data in manageable-sized chunks that can be easily understood

But, rather than simply getting caught up in the promises of big data, I want to employ the concept of ‘small data’ – the localised, contextual and manageable data that can help provide a fertile environment for the development of data analysis.

[www.cilip.org.uk/ci 02 December 2014]

About new words


As fresh as a daisy: using similes in English.

June 17, 2015

by Liz Walter​
There are two ways of forming similes. The first is with as … as:

The countryside here is as flat as a pancake.

I knew Polly was scared because she was as white as a sheet.

These similes have the structure: as + adjective + as a/an + noun.

We use them to emphasize the adjective. The examples above mean that the countryside is extremely flat, and Polly’s face was very pale.

Here are a few more very common similes:

as stubborn as a mule

as light as a feather

as different as chalk and cheese Read the rest of this entry »


New words – 15 June 2015

June 15, 2015


JOMO abbreviation the joy of missing out

It was only a matter of time before someone – in this case Fake’s fellow entrepreneur Anil Dash – came up with a counterpart acronym, which encapsulates my stance towards tarot cabaret: Jomo, the joy of missing out.

[http://www.theguardian.com 17 October 2014]


inspo noun informal inspiration

An oversized fedora (leather band) is a) more chic, and b) less annoying for everyone else. See Naomi Watts for inspo.

[The Guardian (UK broadsheet) 29 November 2014]

obvi abbreviation obviously

Obvi she didn’t want to get in trouble, but wait! There’s more to it than that!

[http://perezhilton.com 10 December 2014]

Ugh: TIME Wants To Ban Girl-Centric Slang Words, And That’s Obvi A Problem

[www.huffingtonpost.com 14 November 2014]

About new words


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