Sparkling, glinting and glistening (Words related to light, Part 2)

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by Kate Woodford

Last month, we looked at words used to describe the intensity of light. This week’s post continues the light theme, looking mainly at words for light that moves, or seems to move, and areas of light.

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Beating up, ganging up on and putting someone down: phrasal verbs for bad behaviour (2)

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by Liz Walter

In an earlier post, I looked at phrasal verbs connected with children’s bad behaviour and with some general adult bad behaviour. In this post, I will cover phrasal verbs connected with bullying, violent and dishonest behaviour.

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Spotless or squalid? (Words for ‘clean’ and ‘dirty’)

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by Kate Woodford

COVID-19 has made us all very aware of how clean our hands and surfaces are. With cleanliness in mind, we thought it might be a good time to look at the language around being clean and being dirty.

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Staying at home, going home or working from home: using the word ‘home’.

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by Liz Walter

Spending several weeks under (partial) lockdown has made me think more deeply about the concept of ‘home’. It’s a word that has a huge amount of implied meaning over and above its main literal meaning of ‘the place where you live’. It is also a very common word that can cause problems for learners because it acts in odd ways with regard to the use of prepositions.

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Sparkling and dazzling! (Words related to light, Part 1)

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by Kate Woodford

I’m often surprised by the number of words and phrases that exist in a particular area of the English language. This was the case when I started to look at the language around light and all the things it does and the various ways it appears. Indeed, there are so many words that this will be a 2-part blog post.

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Playing up, showing off or letting someone down: phrasal verbs for bad behaviour (1)

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by Liz Walter

It struck me recently that there are rather a lot of phrasal verbs connected with people behaving badly so I thought this might be a useful topic. In fact, there are so many of them that there will be two posts: this one on children’s behaviour and general bad behaviour and one on more serious wrongdoing such as violence, bullying and dishonesty.

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Black sheep and white lies (Idioms with colours, part 2)

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by Kate Woodford

This is the second of two posts that focus on idioms that contain a word for a colour. A couple of weeks ago, we looked at blue, green and red idioms. This week, we’re rather monochrome, looking mainly at idioms with ‘black’ and ‘white’ in them.

The phrase in black and white is sometimes used to mean ‘in writing’, usually in the context of proof: I could scarcely believe it was true, but there it was, in black and white.

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New words – 22 June

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digital nutrition noun [U]
UK /ˌdɪdʒ.ɪ.tᵊl.njuːˈtrɪʃ.ᵊn/ US /ˌdɪdʒ.ə.t̬əl.nuːˈtrɪʃ.ᵊn/
the process of making sure that using mobile phones, computers etc. is not harmful for your physical and mental health

Unplugging won’t solve the root problem. It’s like doing a juice cleanse – you deny yourself and then you’ll go back online and eat a burger … Instead, think of your digital nutrition the same way you think of regular nutrition: instead of worrying about calories or minutes, concentrate on the quality of what you’re consuming.
[, 6 January 2020]

infodemic noun [C]
UK /ˌɪn.fəʊ.ˈdem.ɪk/ US /ˌɪn.foʊ.ˈdem.ɪk/
a very large amount of information that is published about a particular problem, some of which is untrue, therefore making it more difficult to find a solution

The 2019-nCoV outbreak and response has been accompanied by a massive ‘infodemic’ – an over-abundance of information – some accurate and some not – that makes it hard for people to find trustworthy sources and reliable guidance when they need it.
[, 2 February 2020]

phygital adjective
UK /ˈfɪdʒ.ɪ.tᵊl/ US /ˈfɪdʒ.ə.t̬ᵊl/
using a combination of physical and digital elements to sell and market a product

In light of lockdown the idea of ‘phygital’ strategy is being turned on its head. It’s no longer about splicing a digital element into physical experiences. More challenging perhaps, it’s now about bringing real physical connection to digital experiences.
[, 29 April 2020]

About new words

From darkness into the light: metaphors of darkness and light

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by Liz Walter

‘Darkness cannot drive out darkness: only light can do that.’

‘In the midst of darkness, light persists.’

These quotes, from Mahatma Gandhi and Martin Luther King, perfectly demonstrate the way darkness and light are used as metaphors in English (and many other languages), with darkness suggesting ignorance, evil and unhappiness and light signifying knowledge, purity and happiness. There are many common phrases that exemplify this, and this post will look at some of the most common ones.

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Seeing red and green with envy (Idioms with colours, part 1)

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by Kate Woodford

Idioms are sometimes easier to remember when they create a vivid image in your mind. The English idioms in this post all contain a word for a colour which might help you to commit them to memory.

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