It’s a hot day so I’ve opened my window. A wasp just came in, and I guided it cautiously outside using the book that was nearest to hand (Japanese for Busy People). That set me wondering what verb best describes what I had just done. The verb that immediately came to mind was usher: I…… Continue reading Do ushers ush or do they usher?
IFRS standards use too many different terms to describe how likely it is that an event will occur. That is a clear conclusion of KASB Research Report No. 39 / AASB Research Report No. 2 Accounting Judgements on Terms of Likelihood in IFRS: Korea and Australia, issued in 2016 by the Korea Accounting Standards Board…… Continue reading Saying how likely something is
Some commentators hate hearing people say that they ‘pre-booked’ something, for example, a taxi or a ticket. These commentators argue that the prefix pre- is redundant. In their view, the word book already necessarily includes the meaning that the action occurred in advance. Is the prefix pre- always redundant? I agree that the prefix is…… Continue reading Are all pre-bookings just bookings?
Some English native prefixes expressing location in time or space are of native origin. This post discusses whether those items are indeed prefixes or whether they are a separate base added in front of another base in forming a compound word. This post does not discuss prefixes of non-native origin. Native prefixes in English Bauer,…… Continue reading Prefix or preposition?
In the card game Contract Bridge, players transmit information by making bids. So, is bidding in Contract Bridge a language? Bidding systems used in Bridge: are like language, because they use a vocabulary of words that convey meanings. But there are important differences between the 2 types of vocabulary.are not like language, because they have…… Continue reading The language of Contract Bridge?
Recent stays with our grandchildren showed us how the youngest 2 are getting on with acquiring language. 13 months The youngest is 13 months old. He started to produce recognisable words a couple of months ago. From the 4 days we spent with him, I would guess that he can produce around 10 to 20…… Continue reading Early words
I’ve spent much of the last 28 years writing or editing documents for a readership that includes many readers who didn’t learn English from birth. In this post, I give some tips on writing more clearly to help readers with English as a second language. General advice on writing plain English is not enough to…… Continue reading Writing English to help second-language readers
An editorial this Wednesday in The Times discussed the latest measures taken in England to counter the spread of COVID. It talks about ‘the public’s weariness with measures to contain the spread’. In this sentence, weariness is a noun derived from the adjective weary and it means tiredness. Reading this sentence, I wondered whether we…… Continue reading Would this be a useful new word?
I recently came across Longman Guardian New Words, by Simon Mort (1986). It gives a fascinating interesting snapshot of words that entered mainstream British English in 1986. The author says the book has 3 aims: to entertainto provide a convenient reference package of the patterns, logic and fashion of word formation of 1986to be a…… Continue reading New words of 1986