Posts Tagged ‘English’

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They carried out an experiment: phrasal verbs in formal writing

August 5, 2015

by Liz Walter​
carriedout_phrasalverbs
I have written previously about using phrasal verbs to avoid over-formal language, but what happens when you need to write in a formal style, for instance in an academic essay, a report, or a formal letter? Although we often think of phrasal verbs and other multi-word verbs as being rather informal, the majority are in fact neutral and there are a good many that are positively formal. This blog post looks at a small selection of the many multi-word verbs which would be completely appropriate in formal or academic writing.

If you only learn one phrasal verb to use in formal writing, my recommendation would be carry out. This is extremely common and sounds much more impressive than ‘do’:

Scientists have carried out experiments/tests/research on …

We have carried out  a thorough review of … Read the rest of this entry ?

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New words – 3 August 2015

August 3, 2015

responsible luxury

responsible luxury noun high-end, green tourism and hospitality

Jumeirah’s ‘responsible luxury’ approach is an example of a sustainable travel experience – future guests will enjoy the environment as much as today’s.

[http://www.telegraph.co.uk 22 October 2014]

 

 

bio-bus noun a bus that runs on biomethane gas generated through the treatment of sewage and food waste

Gas-powered vehicles have an important role to play in improving air quality in UK cities but the Bio-Bus goes further than that and is actually powered by people living in the local area, including quite possibly those on the bus itself.

[www.bbc.co.uk 20 November 2014]

The 40-seater ‘Bio-Bus’, pictured here preparing for its maiden trip from Bristol to Bath, runs on gas generated by the treatment of sewage and food waste at a nearby processing plant. It comes complete with an interesting design on the side of the vehicle.

[www.dailymail.co.uk 19 November 2014]

green care noun the therapeutic use of nature, especially for people with mental health issues

Today it is called green care. Though there has been no organized health-care discussion of green care in the U.S. or Canada, in the United Kingdom social and therapeutic horticulture is an increasing part of the health-care portfolio.

[http://www.wnd.com 31 October 2014]

About new words

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Are you a glass-half-full person? (Everyday Idioms)

July 29, 2015

by Kate Woodford​
glass-half-full
A reader of this blog recently asked for a post on idioms that are used in everyday English. This seemed like a reasonable request. After all, if you are going to make the effort to learn a set of English idioms, you want those idioms to be useful. The question, then, was how to decide which idioms to write about. There are a great number of idioms in the English language, but some are rarely used. In the end, I decided to keep an idioms diary for a week, and make a note of any idioms that I heard people use in conversation. From this set of idioms, I chose a few that I considered to be common in contemporary, conversational English and have presented them here.

Early in the week, a radio presenter told his colleague that she was ‘opening up a can of worms’ when she said something that many people would disagree with. A can of worms (informal) is a situation or subject that causes a lot of problems or arguments when you start to deal with it or discuss it. The verb ‘open (up)’ is often used with this phrase. The same presenter later talked about occasions when he really wanted to say what he thought, but instead ‘bit his tongue’. To bite your tongue is to stop yourself from saying something that might upset someone or make them angry. Read the rest of this entry ?

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New words – 27 July 2015

July 27, 2015

exoskeleton

exoskeleton noun a robotic device which goes around the legs and part of the body of a person who cannot walk and allows them to move independently and in an upright position

The device, known as an exoskeleton, is strapped to the outside of a person’s limbs and can then be controlled by them.

[http://www.bbc.co.uk/ 18 December 2014]

 

haptics plural noun technology that involves the sensation of touching or feeling something

There’s a very real difference between controlled haptics and a flat buzz, especially in a piece of wearable tech, and the haptics in the Apple Watch have that nuanced feel – its heartbeat-sharing delivers a softly detailed pulse.

[Stuff (UK innovations magazine) Nov 2014]

parcelcopter noun an unpiloted drone, used for delivering parcels

First autonomous delivery flights by parcelcopter in Europe authorised.

[www.ft.lk 09 November 2014]

About new words

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New words – 20 July 2015

July 20, 2015

plug-in

plug-in noun an electronic car

Since car makers and legislators ploughed billions into electric vehicles (and the infrastructure to support them), plug-ins have made the transition from rare-groove curios to viable short-range transport.

[GQ (men’s magazine) Nov 2014]

 

 

quadcopter noun an unpiloted helicopter with four rotors

If you are on a restricted budget, then the Syma X1 quadcopter for about $40 is a GoPro as it comes with a high definition camera capable of recording FPV.

[wiki.fsairlines.net 18 November 2014]

regenerative braking noun a system for capturing kinetic energy to recharge the battery pack of an electric car

The place to get aggressive on electric cars is with regenerative braking.

[New York Times (US broadsheet) 12 October 2014]

About new words

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New words – 13 July 2015

July 13, 2015

yo-pro

yo-pro noun informal a young professional

The beloved British retailer that also opened Friday (in Springfield Town Center, which opened, in case you hadn’t heard) tries to be a spot where a mother of three, a teenager, or a young professional (‘yo-pros,’ as they call them) can shop.

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

 

on fleek idiom slang exactly right

But if your eyebrows aren’t quite on fleek, don’t worry.

[http://www.cambio.com 07 December 2015]

What’s Gucci? idiom slang What’s happening?/What are you up to?

What’s Gucci pomade lovers? It’s that time of the week where I test out another product for you to decide to purchase to add to your collection.

[http://lifeofablogger.com/ 28 October 2014]

What’s Gucci pomade lovers? It’s that time of the week where I test out another product for you to decide to purchase to add to your collection.

[http://lifeofablogger.com/ 28 October 2014]

About new words

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Crash! Whisper and Purr (Onomatopoeias)

July 8, 2015

by Kate Woodford​
onomatopoeia
What do the words crash, whisper and purr have in common? They’re all onomatopoeias. An onomatopoeia is a word that copies or in some way suggests the sound of the action that it refers to, whether it is ‘crash!’, (the loud noise of two things hitting each other and causing damage), ‘whisper’, (to speak very quietly, using only the breath), or ‘purr’, (to make a quiet, continuous sound, such as a happy cat does). ‘Onomatopoeia’ is also an uncountable noun, referring to the use or quality of such words. This week, we are looking at this interesting category of words in sets of different types. As ever, we are focusing on frequent words that you are likely to hear or read.

Animal noises are a fairly obvious example of onomatopoeia. In the English language, dogs bark, lions roar, wolves howl, sheep bleat and mice squeak. (These verbs are also used as nouns.) There is another, smaller set of onomatopoeic animal sound words used mainly by small children or by adults speaking to small children. This set includes moo! for cows, baa! for sheep, woof woof! for dogs and hiss! for snakes. Interestingly, many animal sounds are represented by different words in other languages, even though animals everywhere tend to make the same – or similar – sounds. Read the rest of this entry ?

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