Different accent or bad diction?

I’ve written before about confusion about the term dropping your g’s. The Time columnist Claire Foges waded into this debate on 20 September. Her article argues that people can improve their life chances by learning to speak and write what she calls Standard English. I agree with her on that. But her comments show some…… Continue reading Different accent or bad diction?

Acquiring English past tense

My grandson (aged 3 years 9 months) has recently started producing the past tense in a surprising way. I first noticed it with the form liked. He is now pronouncing this as likèd [laɪkɛd] , rather than [laɪkt]. I soon discovered he was using this form consistently not only in all weak verbs but even…… Continue reading Acquiring English past tense

I must do my irony

A French former colleague of mine talked sometimes about doing her ironing. When she did, she pronounced the ‘r’ sound (a rhotic sound, rhotic from the Greek letter rho: ρ). This always made me think she was announcing a switch into an ironic mode.

Scandinavian language challenge day 38

Today I worked through the last chapter (chapter 12) of Swedish in three months, covering: ‘either .. or’, ‘neither … nor’, ‘both … and”all and ‘whole’ the impersonal pronoun ‘man’ adjectives without a nounhow to translate some common English verbsspellingother words ‘either .. or’, ‘neither … nor’, ‘both … and’ Antingen … eller = either ……… Continue reading Scandinavian language challenge day 38

Scandinavian language challenge day 2

I am continuing the Scandinavian language challenge I started yesterday. Today, I started Swedish. I am using Swedish in Three Months (1998), published by Dorling Kindersley under the Hugo imprint. This book contains a preface, a guide to pronunciation (and spelling), 12 chapters, reading practice (4 pages) a key to the exercises and drills, a…… Continue reading Scandinavian language challenge day 2

Scandinavian language challenge day 1

I have set myself a language challenge. I will work through basic introductory language courses on Danish, Swedish and Norwegian, working each day on one of the languages. I’ve picked these languages because: I first started looking at these 3 languages (together with several other languages) around 45 years ago when I first got into…… Continue reading Scandinavian language challenge day 1

How do you say the name of that river?

UK news organisations have reported the outcome of a centuries-long dispute about how to pronounce the name of the river 10th longest river in the UK. People in Northampton pronounce the name Nene as Nen. People in Peterborough pronounce the same written form Neen. The croquet teams in the two towns decided to use their…… Continue reading How do you say the name of that river?