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It's Been Said Before

By Orin Hargraves

It's Been Said Before "examines why certain phrases become clichés and why they should be avoided -- or why they still have life left in them."

New from Cambridge University Press!


Sounds Fascinating

By J. C. Wells

How do you pronounce biopic, synod, and Breughel? - and why? Do our cake and archaic sound the same? Where does the stress go in stalagmite? What's odd about the word epergne? As a finale, the author writes a letter to his 16-year-old self.

Academic Paper

Title: 'Death of the mother tongue' – is English a glottophagic language in South Africa?
Author: Rajend Mesthrie
Institution: University of Cape Town
Linguistic Field: Sociolinguistics
Subject Language: English
Abstract: This article reflects on the spread of English in South Africa, especially in the wake of the large-scale changes following the collapse of apartheid in the early 1990s. These changes allowed freer mixing of young South Africans of all backgrounds than had been hitherto possible in a segregated society. In particular, schools formerly reserved for Whites, opened their doors to initially small, then increasing numbers of pupils from other race groups: viz. Black, Coloured and Indian (this group is sometimes described as black in the general sense, in lower case, or non-whites in former apartheid-speak). The term Coloured in South Africa denotes communities of multiple ancestry, whose background encompasses the now obsolescent indigenous Khoe-San languages of the country as well as Bantu, European and Asian languages.


This article appears IN English Today Vol. 24, Issue 2.

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