Category Archive for: English language

Quebec language police order Mandy’s salad bar to remove English signs from shop in anglophone area

A Montreal salad bar, Mandy’s, is under fire from Quebec’s language police because its decor features vintage English signs. The Office québécois de la langue française told sisters Mandy and Rebecca Wolfe they would have to remove the purely decorative signs from their shop in traditionally anglophone Westmount (they have a second location in the predominately…

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English program provides medical terminology lessons to non-native speakers

Guadalupe Torres is soft-spoken; her quiet, tentative, English is highlighted by a lilting Mexican accent. She appears shy, perhaps even timid. But when she last visited her doctor and her interpreter was late, she was unfazed, even eager to take on the challenge of speaking to the doctor alone. Torres was confident about navigating the…

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Historian says Ireland owes its freedom to spread of English

Ireland owes its freedom to the spread of the English language which allowed for the spread of Irish nationalist ideals by writers such as Thomas Davis in a way that would not have been possible through the Irish language, according to historian, Prof John A Murphy. Emeritus Professor of History at UCC, Prof Murphy said he had always been intrigued by…

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7 secrets that will guarantee a timely turnaround from copywriters

The constant battle that writers have with deadlines is well known, but when it comes to business writing there’s no room for tardiness. It might feel unnerving handing over an assignment to a freelance or agency copywriter, wondering if the finished copy will ever come back out of the mysterious writing black hole, but there…

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We finally have a name for Scooby Doo’s speech disorder

When I imagine Scooby-Doo, I can almost hear it. I hear the horn-filled chase theme, the pitter-patter of feet scrambling to get away, and, more than anything, I hear the semi-intelligible dialogue of a canine with a speech disorder. Forty-five years after the first airing of the beloved children’s TV show, I decided I had heard…

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8 pronunciation errors that made the English language what it is today

Someone I know tells a story about a very senior academic giving a speech. Students shouldn’t worry too much, she says, if their plans “go oar-y” after graduation. Confused glances are exchanged across the hall. Slowly the penny drops: the professor has been pronouncing “awry” wrong all through her long, glittering career. We’ve all been…

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The many origins of the English language

In Borrowed Words: A History of Loanwords in English, I examine how words borrowed from different languages have influenced English throughout its history. The above feature summarizes some of the main data from the book, focusing on the 14 sources that have given the most words to English, as reflected by the new and revised entries in…

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A plain English guide to how natural language processing will transform computing

Though these technologies are complex, it’s crucial that we understand them and how they work since they are powering the next wave of applications, performing tasks so complicated that traditional programming techniques can’t solve them. Buzz phrases such as “artificial intelligence,” “machine learning” and “natural language processing” are becoming increasingly commonplace within the tech industry.…

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He? She? Zhe? | An introduction to gender neutral language

March 8th is International Women’s Day. This day was first observed in the early 1900s and become a day for celebrating advances in women’s rights and a way of highlighting gender inequalities which still persist. Over the last 100 years, many women have struggled for greater equality in politics, in the workplace and in society…

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Lost in translation | English conversational program shutting down

The English Language Study Program has served as a bridge between non-English speaking international students and their studies for over two decades, but that bridge is soon to be removed. According to Sung Lee, the founder and director of International Student Education, international students are no longer allowed to enter the country on the merits…

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