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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: Variation in the lexicon: the ‘Cinderella’ of sociolinguistics?
Linguistic Field: Semantics
Abstract: All of the contributions in this special issue respond to a somewhat paradoxical situation: lexis (or vocabulary) is probably the area of linguistics that is most accessible and most salient for a non-specialist audience, but at the same time it presents some uniquely difficult challenges for systematic scholarly linguistic analysis. This is especially the case for approaches that focus on statistics or quantification of data, such as are typical of modern work in sociolinguistics. For this reason, it often seems that lexis is the Cinderella that is excluded from the ball, a topic that modern sociolinguists tend to steer clear of because of the methodological difficulties. This special issue will try to investigate the background to this problem, and suggest some possible solutions.


This article appears IN English Today Vol. 28, Issue 4.

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