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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: A language for all the world
Author: John Edwards
Institution: St. Francis Xavier University
Linguistic Field: Applied Linguistics
Abstract: In the popular mind, constructing a language has always been seen as an odd activity, one that seems to fly in the face of ‘natural’ language dynamics. It is, nonetheless, a very old activity, and attention to its various stages is an important part of the study of linguistic history – and, indeed, of modern scientific development. The first stage involves attempts (highly speculative, of course) to recapture the original lingua humana, as spoken in the Garden of Eden. At a later stage, scholars tried to create entire languages ab ovo, motivated by the desire for a more logical and regular variety that would better reflect and channel scientific classification. Later still – and on into the modern era – ‘artificial’ languages have been assembled from pre-existing rules and components. At all stages, the work has been underpinned by hopes for a more practical medium, but there have also been expectations that a language that was both regular and widely shared would contribute to international harmony and understanding.


This article appears IN Language Teaching Vol. 46, Issue 3.

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