Language Articles

At the moment we have the builders in – when they finally arrive for the day. This can mean any time between 8.30 and 11 30 am – more often the latter. We thought it was a small job – just a roof repair on an out building  - but they’ve managed to extend it to 10 days so far. Fortunately we are paying by the job rather than the hour. One of them will go off for a spade, a special one he can’t work without,  or to the post office ( 5 doors way) and then doesn’t reappear for 4 hours..

Read more: Accentuating the Positive - Language Article

Most people would agree that spring is for lovers, so is any other time for that matter, because people can fall in love any time, any place and anywhere (to quote the famous Martini advert), and it can happen under the most peculiar of circumstances. I first spoke to my husband when I was waiting for him to finish with the ironing board. My daughter met her future husband in a shared college kitchen where she was astonished to see him defrosting frozen mashed potato. She even wrote home about it.  It took three years before they got together. My in-laws met on top of a bus, so must have made arrangements to meet again very quickly,  and my parents met in the pouring rain outside a cinema. My father proposed half an hour later and mom only took a few weeks to say 'yes'.

Read more: Spring is for Lovers - Language Article

Linguists are full of theories about how people learn – the use of short term and long term memory, how the brain encodes ideas, the use of menomics and lots more complicated gumph. You don’t need to know all that to learn a language. What you do need is to hear it and to try it out, and this isn’t too hard – ask any two year old.

Read more: Learning Techniques - Language Article

An index, while never the glamorous part of any writing project, is essential to the readability and usability of longer non-fiction and technical works. Building one need not be a chore, but it should not be an afterthought either. Here's how to make an index useful to readers without it becoming an unduly large project:-

1. Understand the purpose of an index. An index is an alphabetical listing of key words and concepts in the text. It contains "pointers" to those words and concepts, which are usually page, section, or paragraph numbers. An index generally appears at the end of a document or book. This is distinct from a table of contents, a bibliography, or other supporting materials.

2. Begin with a completed text. If the text is not yet complete, you can still begin the process of building an index as long as the text has most of its final structure.

Read more: How to Write an Index - Language Article