My last ‘How we talk’ post focused on words used for people who talk a lot, including adjectives such as ‘talkative’ and ‘forthcoming’. This week, I’m looking at the opposite – words that we use for people who say very little. Continue reading “Has the cat got your tongue? (How we talk, Part 2)”
thermal tourism noun [U]
UK /ˌθɜː.mᵊl ˈtʊə.rɪ.zᵊm/ US /ˌθɝː.mᵊl ˈtʊr.ɪ.zᵊm/
travel to a warmer country to spend the winter months there in order to avoid the cold weather and higher heating bills in your own country
Tourism operators in Southern European countries are hoping to capitalise on cold winters and energy bills elsewhere on the continent by advertising their warmer climates as winter approaches. Destinations including Greece, southern Spain and the Canary Islands are taking advantage of “thermal tourism”, a trend in Britain for flying to cheaper, warmer climates to escape the winter and the cost of living crisis in the UK.
[independent.ie, 11 October 2022]
African plume noun [C]
a long, thin mass of warm air that moves upwards from Africa, causing warmer weather in more northerly parts of the world
Parts of the UK could be in for a rare Indian summer this month – with temperatures rising as high as 22C. An “African plume” will push temperatures up across the country over the next two weeks, with some forecasters suggesting that the mild spell will last up to Halloween on October 31.
[mirror.co.uk, 17 October 2022]
warm bank noun [C]
UK /ˌwɔːm ˈbæŋk/ US /ˌwɔːrm ˈbæŋk/
a place such as a library, museum or other public building where someone can go to get warm in the winter if they cannot afford to heat their home, run as a public service by a town council, charity etc.
If you were in any doubt about the scale of the cost of living crisis devastating the UK, the fact councils and charities are preparing to open “warm banks” should tell you everything you need to know … The charity New Beginnings Reading is setting up Reading’s first warm bank this winter, hosted in an old refurbished pub. It will keep its heating on around the clock, and act as a social place where people can enjoy a hot drink and soup together.
[bigissue.com, 16 September 2022]
This week and next, I’m looking at ways to describe how much – or how little – we speak. There are lots of words (especially adjectives) in this area, with very different connotations, from chatty (=talking a lot in a friendly, informal way) to reserved (=tending not to talk about your feelings or opinions):
Jamie was his usual chatty self.
My grandfather was a quiet, rather reserved man.
This post will cover words and phrases that mean ‘talking a lot’ and Part 2 will deal with the opposite. Continue reading “He could talk the hind legs off a donkey (How we talk, Part 1)”
Once again, it’s the time of year when the Cambridge Dictionary team looks back over the past twelve months to choose a word that represents what the dictionary, and what the English language, means to its users. This year’s word might surprise you, so read on to find out why the Word of the Year 2022 is… homer! Continue reading “Cambridge Dictionary’s Word of the Year 2022”
by Liz Walter
When we speak and write, it is important to show the link between different statements. For example, do we want to add information, contrast two ideas, or show that one thing is the reason for another? Of course it is possible to use very simple linking words such as and, but and so, but it is useful to have a wider range of linking words, particularly for formal or academic writing. Continue reading “Whereas, despite and nevertheless: ways to link ideas (1)”
Today’s post is a round-up of the idioms and phrases found in a range of national newspapers published on the same Sunday in October. I write one of these newspaper idioms posts every few months as a way of providing you with a regular supply of contemporary, frequently used English idioms. Continue reading “Hot air and bad blood (Idioms found in newspapers)”
by Liz Walter
We often need to talk about amounts and numbers that are not exact, either because an exact figure isn’t needed or because we don’t know it. This post looks at some words and phrases for doing this. Continue reading “At a rough guess: talking about approximate numbers and amounts”
In part 1 of this post (Changing our minds, Part 1), I looked at language that is often used to refer to people in positions of power changing their decisions or plans. This post continues the ‘changing your mind’ theme but instead focuses on the sort of language that is used when people more generally change their minds. Continue reading “Having second thoughts (Changing our minds, Part 2)”
by Liz Walter
My last post looked at a range of verbs to talk about touching and hitting in a variety of contexts. This post focuses on hitting things and people with force. Continue reading “Walloping, belting and clobbering: verbs for touching and hitting (2)”
‘A wise man changes his mind. A fool never will,’ or so says the proverb. Whether or not this is true, we all change our minds, sometimes about trivial things and sometimes about things that really matter. This post (in two parts) takes a look at nouns, verbs and idioms in this area of the language. Today, we’ll look at the sort of language that is often used when people in positions of power change their opinions or plans. Continue reading “U-turns and flip-flopping (Changing our minds, Part 1)”