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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."

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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: Shifting practices and emerging patterns: Telephone service encounters in Shanghai
Author: Hao Sun
Institution: Indiana University-Purdue University Fort Wayne
Linguistic Field: Discourse Analysis; Sociolinguistics
Subject Language: Chinese, Mandarin
Abstract: This study explores the dynamic nature of language in context, utilizing two sets of comparable Chinese discourse data of telephone service encounters collected in the same community a decade apart. It describes and characterizes current business practices and identifies shifts in discursive practices in light of the patterns observed in the past. Observed changes include constitutive components of the global structure, local realization of the structural elements, and interaction dynamics as a result of changed, redefined contexts and realigned footings. I propose that observed shifts may represent and constitute in part the emergence in the community of the reconstruction, or reshaping, of a more distinctive telephone service encounter (TSE) spoken genre and related discursive features. With the adoption of more recognizable boundary markers, shifts in discursive practice of telephone service encounters in Shanghai may result in openings with distinguishable features from calls made to residences. (Discourse analysis, service encounter, practice, telephone in business, China, spoken genre)


This article appears IN Language in Society Vol. 41, Issue 4.

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