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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: Assessing World Englishes
Author: Alan Davies
Institution: University of Edinburgh
Linguistic Field: Applied Linguistics; Sociolinguistics
Abstract: English worldwide may be viewed in terms of spread and of diffusion. Spread refers to the use in different global contexts, such as publishing and examinations, of Standard British or American English. Diffusion describes the emergence of local varieties of English in, for example, India or Singapore, comparable to the earlier emergence of Australian English, Canadian English, and so on. In nonformal settings, interlocutors make use of their own local variety of English, their World Englishes (WEs). In formal settings, notably in English language assessment, it seems that the norm appealed to is still that of Standard British or American English. Since English as a lingua franca (ELF) appears to make use only of the spoken medium, there is less of a demand for an ELF written norm. At present what seems to hold back the use of local WEs norms in formal assessment is less the hegemony of Western postcolonial and economic power and more the uncertainty of local stakeholders.


This article appears IN Annual Review of Applied Linguistics Vol. 29, Issue 1.

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