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What’s that lovely smell?

October 29, 2014

by Kate Woodford
lovelysmell
As adult humans, we can distinguish about 10,000 different smells. It’s no wonder, then, that we have so many words and expressions to describe them. This week we’re taking a look at those smell words – words that describe good smells and words that describe bad smells.

Most smell words are either positive or negative. ‘Smell’ itself, however, can be either good or bad, depending on the words around it. ‘I love the smell of baking bread.’ is perfectly possible, as is It’s a horrible smell, like rotten eggs.’ Interestingly, without an adjective before it, or some other information, it seems usually to refer to a bad smell: Have you noticed the smell in the bathroom?/I can’t get rid of the smell. The derived adjective smelly, meanwhile, is always bad: smelly feet/smelly socks. Read the rest of this entry »

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New words – 27 October 2014

October 27, 2014

highfrequency trading

high-frequency trading noun a type of stock market trading that uses very complex technology to trade extremely quickly, often making tiny profits which nevertheless add up to substantial sums

Lewis’s book, Flash Boys, is driving a huge amount of attention toward the topic of high frequency trading, and it has rekindled some of [sic] basic arguments over its impact on markets and investors.

[http://www.businessweek.com/ 01 April 2014]

dark pool noun a private stock market, usually owned by a major financial institution

The dark pool is not required to report whatever happens to it in real time to the world outside of it.

[WNYC: Leonard Lopate Show (culture and information) 23 April 2014]

Nisa noun a new version of the ISA, a UK tax-free savings scheme

‘Nisa’ rules come into effect from July, but there is still confusion over the time limits for topping up fixed-rate cash Isas.

[www.telegraph.co.uk 12 May 2014]

About new words

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Highly delighted, bitterly disappointed, ridiculously cheap: adverbs for emphasis.

October 22, 2014

by Liz Walter
adverbsforemphasis
We often make adjectives stronger by putting an adverb in front of them. The most common ones are very and, for a stronger meaning, extremely:

He was very pleased.

The ship is extremely large.

However, we don’t use very or extremely for adjectives that already have a strong meaning, for example fantastic, delighted, huge, furious. For these, the most common adverb is absolutely. Utterly is even stronger, and is usually used for adjectives with a negative meaning:

This apartment is absolutely perfect for us.

At the end of the day, I was utterly exhausted.

Really is slightly informal, and used both with strong adjectives and other adjectives:

Your shoes are really dirty.

Her bedroom is really tiny. Read the rest of this entry »

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New words – 20 October 2014

October 20, 2014

lifetracking

life tracking noun the use of one or more devices or apps to monitor health, exercise, how time is spent, etc.

[Tikker] is the latest – and perhaps the creepiest – device in the tech-driven trend toward what is called life tracking.

[AARP The Magazine (US over-50s magazine) June 2014]

 

IoT abbreviation internet of things; appliances and devices that connect wirelessly to the Internet to receive instructions from users

Like most tech that the government chooses to invest in, I have a sinking feeling that the PM couldn’t actually define the IoT.

[PC pro (UK special interest magazine) June 2014]

spim noun spam that is delivered via internet messaging

One of the most effective ways for you to protect yourself from Spim is to block messages from people, who are not on your buddy list, or to create a permission list and only allow messages from those you put on it.

[http://www.compuchenna.co.uk/ 03 April 2014]

About new words

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The language of work

October 15, 2014

by Kate Woodford
languageofwork
Most of us talk about our jobs. We tell our family and friends interesting or funny things that have happened in the workplace (=room where we do our job), we describe – and sometimes complain about – our bosses and colleagues and when we meet someone for the first time, we tell them what our jobs are. Here, then, is a selection of English vocabulary to help you to speak about your work.

A career is a job or number of jobs of a similar type that a person does over a long period: I’d always wanted a career in teaching./I wasn’t interested in an academic career. The word profession is used in a similar way, but always refers to work that needs a lot of education and training: the medical/legal profession. Note that ‘profession’ also means the people who do a particular type of work: The medical profession is always looking to improve patient care. Read the rest of this entry »

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New words – 13 October 2014

October 13, 2014

spoonula

spoonula noun a cooking implement that is a combination of a spoon and a spatula

Pour the mixture back into the pan and cook on low-medium, scraping and folding the mixture with a silicone spoonula (I love this one).

[thehhouseblog.com 06 April 2014]

 

clean eating noun the dietary practice of avoiding processed, refined foods and eating fresh wholefoods

Take BuzzFeed’s Clean Eating Challenge, Feel Like A Champion At Life

[www.buzzfeed.com 07 May 2014]

nanofood noun food containing nanoparticles of silver to prevent spoilage and prolong shelf life

‘Major food companies are investing billions in nanofood and nanopackaging,’ Friends of the Earth stated in a 2014 report.

[m.motherjones.com 11 June 2014]

About new words

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Just get on with it! Phrasal verbs with ‘get’.

October 8, 2014

by Liz Walter
phrasal_verbs_get
My last blog about phrasal verbs attracted a lot of comments. Many of them were from people who find phrasal verbs difficult. One reason is that so many of them are formed with very common verbs such as get, give, set, or put.

I totally understand why this is a problem, and as I often say to my students, I do apologise for the English language! However, saying sorry won’t help, so here is the first in a series of blogs looking at phrasal verbs formed with common verbs, in this case get.

Firstly, it may sound obvious, but start by learning the most common phrasal verbs. A good place to begin is with a small learner’s dictionary. For example, the Cambridge Essential Dictionary, written for beginners, has only 9 phrasal verbs with get. In other words, the people who wrote that dictionary have already chosen the most useful ones for you. Read the rest of this entry »

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