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Posted By P & L Blog



The American Dialect Society. a group that studies the use of English in North America, chose "tweet" as 2009's Word of the Year.  In the Most Creative category, "Dracula sneeze" (sneezing into the crook of your arm thereby covering the bottom of your face) took the top award.   Other winning words were "hike the Appalachian trail" (Most Euphemistic), "Fail!" (Most Useful), and "death panel" (Most Outrageous).

To hear why some words were nominated, click here.




Photo by Josefrén under Creative Commons license.

Posted By P & L Blog

English words


All languages evolve. Ten years ago we didn't "friend" people, we had friends. We searched, we didn't "Google". Phones were phones, they weren't "smart".

When non-native speakers use English for business and online, they often use the language differently.  Will that eventually influence the way the rest of us use English?

Jack Lynch makes an interesting prediction in his book "The Lexicographer's Dilemma: The Evolution of 'Proper' English, From Shakespeare to 'South Park'":

"All the signs point to a fundamentally reconfigured world, in which what we now think of as the English-speaking world will eventually lose its effective control of the English language."

Do you think this will happen?



 Image by Darwin Bell under Creative Commons license.

Posted By P & L Blog

24 hour clock

Cindy King, a cross-cultural marketer, has an interesting post on different interpretations of times and dates across cultures.  It reminded me of a friend from Botswana who had a very different idea of time than I do.  He defined "later"  as any time in the future: today, tomorrow, next week, next month.  Appointments did not translate into being somewhere at a specific time or even on a particular date.  While this attitude was the norm where he did business, it would never have worked in the US.

So, what should you do when working with overseas customers? Do as the Romans: learn how your customers use times and dates and follow their lead. 


Image by Travis Jon Allison under Creative Commons license.

Posted By P & L Blog



"After all, when you come right down to it, how many people speak the same language even when they speak the same language?"

Russell Hoban

Posted By P & L Blog

twitterThere are many resources for language learners on Twitter, but can you really learn a new language through tweets?  Vocabulary, yes.  Reading practice in your new language, yes.  But do you think you could learn - not practice, not reinforce - grammar in a foreign language?



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