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Blogs about how the English language is changing

Note that these entries are in date sequence – oldest first.

English is changing all the time Posted on 12 December 2016 by James Cowan in English is changing

Some time ago I was invited to talk about the meanings of words that are commonly misused, and how they should be used correctly – and perhaps the options for using other words in their place. To my horror, I found that in the time since I had learned them, the meanings of almost all the words I wanted to talk about had changed, to reflect the usages which were making me grind my teeth. One example: "comprise" and "compose" used ... Read more

English is still changing Posted on 20 April 2017 by James Cowan in English is changing

A common source of confusion – and it appears in the newspapers so often it is clear that the confusion is rife among many who are being paid to know better – is with words like "seaside", "portside" and "backseat". The "seaside" is a place; the "sea side" is a description of an area (as opposed to the "city side", for example of a road). Similarly, the "port side" of a boat is the left side of the boat as you face ... Read more

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