Archive for the Category: English

Improvements to Omniglot

Recently I’ve been making a lot of small improvements to Omniglot. An American gentleman from Michigan has very kindly been proofreading parts of my site, and sending me long lists of corrections and improvements. So far we’ve worked through the languages written with the Latin alphabet from A-J. I’ve corrected errors, edited and improved language […]

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Harmony-loving chorus

Last night I went to an excellent concert at the Pontio Arts Centre featuring the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra and the brilliant harpsichordist, Mahan Esfahani. As well as enjoying the concert, I started thinking about the word philharmonic – what it means, where it comes from, and why it features in the names of many […]

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For the past several years

Does anything strike you as odd about the title of this post? I came across this wording today in a book by an American author, and immediately thought, “don’t you mean ‘for the past few years’?”. For me that would be a more natural way to express this. Several in this context just sounds wrong. […]

Also posted in Etymology, Language, Latin, Words and phrases 4 Comments

The Aesthetic of Umlessness

The title of this post comes from a book by Michael Erard that I’m currently reading: Um. . .: Slips, Stumbles, and Verbal Blunders, and What They Mean. It’s an interesting book that discusses how we all tend to um and er (or uh) in speech, and get words mixed up, correct ourselves, and make […]

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A Polyglot’s Guide to Place Names of Canada & the United States

Today we have a guest post by Amit Raj Wherever you find yourself in the States or Canada, you are likely to find most voices around you are speaking in English, French, Spanish, or another modern European language. But dotted among the vocabulary of the typical American will be a number of words that we […]

Also posted in French, Language, Spanish 1 Comment

Back to Bangor

I finally returned to Bangor today after nearly 3 weeks away – I was only planning to be away for 3 days, but due to the slight mishap in London (a broken ankle), my plans changed a bit. My mum has looked after me very well, and been doing the cooking, laundry, shopping, etc. I’ll […]

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Heartsease

Heartsease, or heart’s-ease, is one of the names for the pansy (see photo), both garden and wild varieties. This name apparently comes from St. Euphrasia, whose name means ‘cheerfulness of mind’ in Greek. Other names for the garden pansy, or Viola tricolor hortensis / Viola x wittrockiana, include: viola, violet, love in idleness, or kiss-me-quick. […]

Also posted in Language, Latin, Russian, Words and phrases 1 Comment

A postcard view

Last night I went to an interesting talk about postcards at the local history society. Various people, including my mum, have collections of postcards of Silverdale and/or sent from Silverdale, and there was a project at Lancaster University to scan, transcribe and study the cards. There is also a book entitled Old Silverdale: The Loveliest […]

Also posted in General, Language, Writing 2 Comments

Phrasemes

From a new article that I added to Omniglot today – How to Avoid Phraseme Goofs in Other Languages, I learnt a new word, phraseme. I hadn’t encountered before, so I thought I’d find out more about it. According to Wiktionary, a phraseme is: An utterance, consisting of multiple words or morphemes, at least one […]

Also posted in Idioms, Language, Words and phrases 1 Comment

Toe cozy

How do you find something if you don’t know what it’s called or even if it exists? This is the problem that faced me yesterday when I started looking for something to cover the toes of my left foot that stick out of my plaster cast. I was using a sock, but it didn’t fit […]

Also posted in Language, Language learning, Words and phrases 1 Comment
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