Language Articles

In a survey conducted by Time Magazine in 2013, people were asked to vote on the most overused words, the top 3 were: Twerk, Selfie and Passion.

If I were asked to come up with a perfect word, there would probably be a different word every day, but one of them would definitely be ‘serendipity’, which means coming across something good very unexpectedly.  However, there are other words I’m not so fond of: I.M.O. ‘Nice’ is overused and so is ‘very’, even though they didn't feature in the survey.

Read more: The Perfect Word - Language Article

Even new born babies soon learn to communicate.  They return smiles, they giggle and wave, and then comes the gobbledegook – the practise sounds that all babies try out.

After all, they’ve been able to hear for quite a while: 18 weeks after conception. So, they grab at their chance to try out all the things they've been hearing, all those sounds.

Read more: Language Creates Opportunities - Language Article


We’ve just been badly let down. Really I am furious, but can do nothing except be polite and wish them well. We had great plans and now there is nothing. I feel as low as can be, but at least experience tells me that something good will turn up soon.

We all get these frustrations from time to time  - exam results we weren’t anticipating, or perhaps something even more serious, a broken relationship, or a lost job.

Read more: Have a go - Language Article

 

A correspondent of mine recently had this to say: I'm appalled at the increasing use of less when fewer would be more appropriate. I was taught that if you could count them (people at a meeting) you used "fewer"; if you couldn't count it (sugar) you used "less."

It seems that the trend is to use less for everything. ... I can't wrap myself around using "less" when "fewer" seems so right to me. She asked me to comment.

The traditional rule is indeed to use "fewer" with things that can be counted.

Read more: Fewer vs Less - Language Article