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An eponym is a word that is derived from a person's name — or, in this case, an ancient figure's name. Instead of calling something harsh, students can learn to call it draconian, herculean or sisyphean — after they learn about the ancient figures that served as inspiration for these adjectives.  Continue reading...
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Edulinks

Useful sites for educators

2012: The Olympics and Paralympics Head to London

Teachers, if you are looking to infuse your 2012 curriculum with some timely material, this official "Get Set" website can provide you with all kinds of Olympics-focused teaching resources. From biographies of the star athletes to interactive games and challenges, "Get Set" can help motivate your students to become part of the action.
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Sadly, I won't be in Portland for the American Dialect Society's meeting, that annual gathering of learned lexicographers and amateur wordinistas. This is an outrage. What foul conspiracy of left-wing moonbats, right-wing wingnuts, and middle-wing batnuts conspired to keep me away?  Continue reading...
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A recent New York Times article reports that the Philippines has now overtaken India as the hub of the outsourced call center. The article contains a telling characterization of the Philippines as "a former United States colony that has a large population of young people who speak lightly accented English and, unlike many Indians, are steeped in American culture."  Continue reading...
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In day-to-day discourse, we don't usually encounter terms that are genuinely problematic. If someone throws something at us that's clearly wrong, like calvary for cavalry, we still get it. If my dialect is "She took a cake to the party," whereas yours is "She brought a cake to the party," I'll still understand you.  Continue reading...
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Blog Excerpts

What's the Deal with "Auld Lang Syne"?

Ben Trawick-Smith is an actor with a deep interest in English dialects. On his Dialect Blog, he takes on a range of interesting linguistic issues. His latest post is perfect for the new year: it's all about the song that we butcher every New Year's Eve, "Auld Lang Syne." Get enlightened about the Scottish tune here.
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1 2 3 4 Displaying 22-28 of 28 Articles