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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: Please – from courtesy to appeal: the role of intonation in the expression of attitudinal meaning
Author: Anne Wichmann
Institution: University of Central Lancashire
Linguistic Field: Phonology; Semantics; Sociolinguistics
Abstract: Intonation is known to convey many nuances of meaning, both emotional and attitudinal, but a way of explaining how these meanings arise has so far remained elusive. While some emotions may have direct correlates in a speaker's voice, such correlates are harder to find for attitudinal meanings.

The word please is typically a routine expression of courtesy, but data from the International Corpus of British English (ICE GB) reveals please to be a pragmatic marker with a wide range of expressive functions. This study, which uses a quantitative approach combined with qualitative analysis, has implications for the study of other pragmatic particles, and also provides the basis for the understanding of attitudinal intonation in a wider context.


This article appears IN English Language and Linguistics Vol. 9, Issue 2.

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