Posts Tagged ‘words’

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Valentine’s Day: How to talk about love.

February 13, 2014

by Liz Walter
valentines
February 14th is Valentine’s Day, when people all over the world express their love for one another. With that in mind, we thought it would be good to give you not only some useful words to talk about love but also the phrases or ‘word partners’ you need to use them in a natural way.

The first and most important thing you need to know is that we fall in love. Fall is really the only verb that sounds natural with love, probably because it expresses the idea of what happens to us so well. Falling in love is a kind of accident – usually a happy accident, but one that we are not able to control. We express a similar idea when we say that someone is madly in love, or even head-over-heels in love, as if love makes that person feel crazy and out of control. Read the rest of this entry ?

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Colorful Revolutions

November 7, 2011

by Hugh Rawson

The world has been blessed lately with a number of relatively nonviolent demonstrations by citizens of different nations that have led to the overthrow of authoritarian regimes. Some of these protests – in Tunisia and Egypt, for example – have amounted to revolutions.  But this has created a problem for the media: The word “revolution” implies violent, usually bloody change. Therefore, reporters and pundits have cast around for ways to qualify, or soften, the violent word, often by using the names of colors and flowers.

 The first of the recent series of popular uprisings came in Tunisia toward the end of 2010. Soon after President Zine al-Abidine Ben Ali fled the country in January of 2011, the foreign press began referring to Tunisia’s jasmine revolution. The name seemed appropriate, at least to outside observers.  Jasmine is Tunisia’s national flower. And the phrase had been used before. Mr Ben Ali came and went smelling of flowers: His original seizure of power in 1987 also was called a jasmine revolution. Read the rest of this entry ?

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What’s the weather like with you?

October 28, 2011

by Kate Woodford

With autumn almost done and winter on its way, we thought it a good time to take a look at the range of words and phrases that are used in relation to weather.

In summer, temperatures rise and when they go up suddenly, they soar, as in The temperature will soar into the eighties this weekend. A number of words mean ‘hot’, many of which have additional meanings. When it is close, it is uncomfortably hot and the air quality makes it difficult to breathe. Muggy and sticky both mean unpleasantly hot, referring to a humid heat, in which the air contains a lot of water. Adjectives such as boiling, sweltering, scorching and scorching hot all mean ‘extremely hot’ or ‘too hot’. They are all slightly informal in register. Stuffy describes a room or other enclosed space that is unpleasantly warm and lacks air. Read the rest of this entry ?

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Fabio Capello’s 100 words of football

March 31, 2011

England football manager Fabio Capello has recently come under criticism for his poor grasp of English despite being in the job for over 3 years, but this week he has hit back, claiming he requires “maximum 100 words” to communicate tactics to the England footballers. This comment has been seized on by the English media, keen to criticise the error-prone manager, but also amused at what this tells us about the size of the average English footballer’s vocabulary.

But is Capello’s statement so absurd? Well, as many have pointed out, you need to know far more than 100 words to communicate effectively in English – just the most basic words such as the, to, be, of, in etc amount to far more than that. But let’s be generous to Capello: let’s assume he was not including these words, sometimes referred to as function words, in his putative 100. Let’s assume that in fact he was referring only to the content words, those nouns, verbs and adjectives that provide the meat on the bones of communication. Would it really be possible to talk football with only 100 of these? Read the rest of this entry ?

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