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Showing posts from February, 2014

What's the meaning of 'what's up'?

Taken from englishforthewin.com & www.urbandictionary.com An apparently simple question can cause great confusion. An American colleague of mine used to greet me every morning with question 'what's up?' to which I would reply 'Nothing' or 'I'm fine.' After the third time it occurred that for her the question was an all purpose greeting whereas to British ears it meant 'what is the problem?' or 'is something wrong?'.

The American usage is gradually taking over but the confusion remains - more interesting thoughts on this here

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Did The Beatles change the English language?

The Beatles first flew into New York in February 1964. Part of their appeal was what to American ears was a charmingly fresh approach to the English language. 

Interestingly, this came across more in their spoken interviews than their song lyrics - the early ones followed the established 'American' style ('I want to hold your hand'). But success gave them the confidence to draw on cultural and linguistic references that were incomprehensible to American ears - 

the National Health Service (from ‘Dr Robert’) or the News of the World (‘Polythene Pam’), and British English vocabulary like ‘ring my friend’ (‘Dr Robert’ again: Americans would say call), ‘time for tea’ (‘Good Morning, Good Morning’: see sense 3 here), and dressing gown (‘She’s Leaving Home’ – it’s a bathrobe in American English). Not to mention those plasticine porters in ‘Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds’ – the American equivalent Play-Doh doesn’t quite work here. (source)

The Beatles brought British English back…

Twenty most annoyingly overused words?

Most annoying words: No. 9 - Hashtag
Can you guess the top three? Clues: a dance, an embarrassing incident at a funeral and the quality every job interviewee declares. 

Check your answers here:

Hipster (18) is a word that all hipsters are certain does not apply to themselves. In contrast geek (19) is now a badge worn with pride in a world where screens rule supreme.

Use offer code CQDWKF0 to download English FAQ Teaching Pack for only £1.99