dictionary,

  • Scaredy Cat - Language Article

     

    We can be frightened for all kinds of reasons; some are logical, such as a fear of snakes which might bite you, but people can be frightened of all sorts of  things, many of them harmless: clowns, butterflies, clocks, moonlight. We call them phobias, and there are long lists of these phobias, most of them seemingly totally irrational.  However, not all fears can be classed as phobias, and we have lots of different words to describe fear, and even ways to describe the people who experience these feelings.

    Thanks to the wonders of Facebook I have recently linked up with a friend I used to play with when I was about eight years old. The phrase ‘scaredy cat’ was often used as a playground jibe when I was very young. Bigger and older children might dare someone to do something  - such as climbing up on the bicycle shed and then jumping off into the coke pile – a really foolish thing to do as you would probably end up covered with coal dust and many scratches, and at worst you could break a leg.  So the sensible thing to do was to take no notice of such jibes, but not everyone felt able to stand up to the teasing.

  • The English we Speak - Language Article

     

    According to American linguistic researchers at the University of California, Berkeley, and the University of Chicago, the language  that we speak has an affect upon  at least half of what we see. Among the examples they give are the many distinctions made in English, between colours,  which do not necessarily appear in other languages, and vice versa.

  • Variations - Language Article

     Spice of life

    Variety is the spice of life, and because many words of modern English come from lots of different sources, French, German, Nordic languages, Latin, Spanish and even Hindi and Eskimo, speakers and writers have lots of choice when it comes to which words to use.

     

    For example:-

    Is this bed hard or solid?

    Is he clever / intelligent / bright / smart...?

    This all makes English a rich language, but it can be frustrating.