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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: A changing target language: trends in American English as viewed from the EFL perspective of China
Author: Fan Xianlong
Linguistic Field: Pragmatics
Abstract: Changing trends in colloquial American English from the viewpoint of a visitor and their implications for teaching of English in China. Knowing that language changes and an appreciation of current changes is of great importance for foreign-language learners as it helps enable them to have a good command of the current language so as to strengthen their ability to communicate with native speakers with facility. The reality Chinese learners of English face is, however, that they hardly have opportunities to be exposed to natural spoken forms of the target language around them, let alone access to its current changing trends. This paper aims to present such information. Based on the investigation I made among native English-speaking Americans, it tries, from a descriptive pragmatic point of view, to give an account of some salient trends of American English in daily communication. It takes everyday spoken American English as the object of study, for it is the kernel part of the language for social interaction. It is this part of the language that first undergoes changes in response to various social events, and that, having much to do with the study of language use, deserves our special attention.


This article appears IN English Today Vol. 24, Issue 4.

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