Category Archives: Language

English Grammar Test

Apparently pedants through the ages have been complaining about the standards of literacy in the younger generation, so the current campaign to bring grammar teaching back into schools is not surprising. Actually, politicians haven’t mentioned the teaching of grammar, but … Continue reading

Posted in Ideas, Language, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Language in the digital age

A lot of parents worry that their teenagers spend all their time texting on their phones, assuming that they will never develop the ability to use language ‘properly’. Is it really so damaging? John McWhorter, in his TED talk, thinks … Continue reading

Posted in Language, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

The history of English – don’t worry, it won’t take long!

The Open University created this lovely set of videos in the form of animations, giving a brief history of the English language. It’s fun to watch and gives you a memorable overview of how the language evolved. Enjoy! The history … Continue reading

Posted in Ideas, Language | Leave a comment

English from India

There’s an interesting piece on the BBC News website about the words which English has absorbed from India. Where would we be without them? Think of a life withut shampoo (horror) or pyjamas (sad) or even a cashmere pashmina(!!). We’d … Continue reading

Posted in Ideas, Language | Tagged | Leave a comment

Demise of the Queen’s English Society

The Queen’s English society announced its own demise recently, saying that no-one cares enough any more about keeping up standards in the use of the English language. I don’t think it’s entirely true that no-one cares, but maybe there are … Continue reading

Posted in Ideas, Language | Tagged | Leave a comment

Interactive learning – really?

Good news, apparently – Oxford University is making some digital materials free for users to download. Unlike with a textbook, the reader can choose which topics to go into in greater depth, which is why it’s called ‘interactive’. It seems … Continue reading

Posted in Ideas, Learning | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Would you call a stranger “babe”? Maybe if you’re a bus driver….

I’ve just read a news report about bus drivers in East Sussex being advised to be careful about calling female passengers “babe”, just in case they take offence. What a pity – there’s a strong tradition of people like bus … Continue reading

Posted in Ideas, Language, Uncategorized | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Learning to Listen, Listening to Learn

Psychiatrist Iain McGilchrist describes the real differences between the left and right halves of the human brain, in a fascinating RSA talk. It’s not simply “emotion on the right, reason on the left,” but something far more complex and interesting. … Continue reading

Posted in Language | Leave a comment