Results tagged “america”

Collective nouns

By Tdol on Feb 21, 2007 | | 0 Comments

Apart from collective nouns like police and cattle that always take a plural verb, there are different approaches taken in different countries where English is spoken. In American English, the general tendency is to use the singular. Indeed, some American speakers regard the plural as incorrect. In British English, the plural is much more widespread, though when the collective noun is seen as a single thing and not a collection of individuals, then the singular is preferred, so British speakers might say that a company is being sold, but may use the plural when thinking about the company's operations. The BBC states its policy is to use the plural when talking about a team, etc. In Australian English, the singular is becoming more common than the plural, but both are used.

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Big change

By Tdol on Aug 30, 2006 | | 1 Comments

I was reading a book about how people use the internet and it said that the average search length has gone from 1.1 to 2.8 words in the last few years. The numbers may not seem to represent such a huge change at first look, but the more I think about them, the more astonishing the change seems. I have also just finished teaching on a pre-sessional course in a university in the UK where I have taught for many years and there have been similar changes that display a very profound change as I see it.

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Truthiness is stranger than faction

By Tdol on Jan 28, 2006 | | 0 Comments

The American Dialect Society has voted for truthiness as the word of the year. It is defined as the quality of stating concepts or facts one wishes or believes to be true, rather than concepts or facts known to be true

English as an International Language

By Tdol on Sep 12, 2005 | | 4 Comments

English as an International Language (EIL) is being debated quite a lot at the moment. The idea sounds fine to me in many ways- most interactions in English nowadays are between non-native speakers, so we should focus on international communication rather than solely attempting to teach learners to strive towards native speaker competence. The idea of familiarising students with the Englishes used by people from other nations and cultures makes sense as that is what most will have to do when they use their English in their lives.

Word Checker 2 - The Brown Corpus

By Tdol on Apr 19, 2004 | | 0 Comments

In the Word Checker we have added to the site, you can see whether a word is in the 2,000 most common words in the Brown Corpus.

Endangered Languages

By Tdol on Mar 22, 2004 | | 2 Comments

UNESCO's Red Book on Endangered Languages paints a grim picture for many small languages:

In Europe, there 9 languages listed as nearly extinct, with 26 in serious danger and a further 38 in danger.

In North-East Asia, 2 are possibly extinct, 19 nearly extinct, 8 in serious danger and 13 more in danger.

The situation in Africa, South America and Asia and Pacific seems to be worse.

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Using Google as a Language Tool 1

By Tdol on Oct 27, 2003 | | 0 Comments

One tool I use a lot for language learning and teaching is Google. It is a quick way of checking many things and is one of the most useful tools available, although it is not designed as a language tool, so its results should be treated with care. You could use any search engine, but Google is the one I use.

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