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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: I mightn't have had to have been writing this
Author: Michael Bulley
Institution: United Arab Emirates University
Linguistic Field: Applied Linguistics
Abstract: Teaching a foreign language can sometimes be like doing linguistics the wrong way round. Grammatical study should be based on sentences that have been produced and understood in actual contexts. We should expect to find some imprecise, changeable conventions, but not any rules. It can be difficult, though, to teach a language with that outlook. A learner will be dispirited if you suggest just taking language as it comes and learning from experience. Learners want rules, as they seem to offer security and a starting-point. Of course, once a teacher has been foolish enough to give a rule, any awkwardly enterprising student can easily find justifiable exceptions to it though, of course, they will not really be exceptions to anything.


This article appears IN English Today Vol. 21, Issue 4.

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