733 posts tagged with english.
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Matters to tend to or Matters to attend to?

EnglishAsASecondLanguageFilter: Does one have matters to attend to or matters to tend to? Justify your answer for extra credit.
posted by falameufilho on Jan 3, 2007 - 22 answers

Reading material on English language origins

I want to learn more about the origins of the English language and about the roots of English words. [more inside]
posted by Foam Pants on Jan 1, 2007 - 25 answers

Why are people using ellipses instead of a period?

What has happened to people being able to properly use a single period to end a sentence? [more inside]
posted by The Bishop of Turkey on Dec 13, 2006 - 73 answers

Modal verbs can versus could

English grammar: 'could be Xing' versus 'can be Xing' -- how can we explain why one is correct and one isn't? [more inside]
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken on Dec 12, 2006 - 23 answers

Are vols 1 and 2 of S.R. Gardiner's "History of the Commonwealth and Protectorate" available online?

Seventeenth-century history-Filter: where can I find a copy of the first and second volumes of S.R. Gardiner's History of the Commonwealth and Protectorate online? [more inside]
posted by greycap on Dec 9, 2006 - 4 answers

Can you think of "invalid" words?

In Chinese, the meaning of a spoken word can change depending on where stress is applied. Can you think of English words which embody this characteristic? I can only think of one at the moment: invalid. [more inside]
posted by Clementines4ever on Dec 7, 2006 - 37 answers

Reality check PLZ

Teaching English in Shenzhen, China [more inside]
posted by azuresunday on Nov 30, 2006 - 17 answers

Why is Heidi Klum's English accent better than Henry Kissinger's?

Why is Heidi Klum's English accent better than Henry Kissinger's?
posted by airguitar on Nov 29, 2006 - 14 answers

[japanese] ... flying knee! ... [japanese] ... why not say "flying knee" in japanese?

Why the random English words used in asian language programming? [more inside]
posted by twiggy on Nov 16, 2006 - 12 answers

Riche's or Rich's?

How do you pronounce the possessive "s" following something ending in s or ch? [more inside]
posted by subtle-t on Nov 12, 2006 - 33 answers

Are the teach English in Japan programs legitimate?

Are the teach English in Japan programs legitimate? [more inside]
posted by fellion on Nov 9, 2006 - 25 answers

Even Shatner is Canadian!

Is Science Fiction primarily an American genre of literature? [more inside]
posted by Deep Dish on Nov 4, 2006 - 35 answers


What is your favorite and most colorful expression or phrase? Speaking about two idiots that we work with, my coworker said that they looked like 'Two monkey's f*cking a football', which led me to say 'They couldn't organize a piss-up in a brewery', and as a final touch, which made me laugh, my coworker states 'They're about as handy as a bear cub with a toothpick'. I would love to write a book or create a website with colorful phrases from around the world. What are some of your favorite idioms that you use or have overhead in the boardroom, bar, or barnyard?
posted by jasondigitized on Oct 31, 2006 - 192 answers

Migrating Slang

Here in the far-flung reaches of the English-speaking world, we're constantly being told our local language is being taken over by "American Slang". But does it go the other way? Are there any British / Australian / New Zealand or wherever phrases and words that have become commonly used by people in North America recently? Do Brooklynites ever exclaim "Crikey!" or "Bloody Hell!"?
posted by Jimbob on Oct 27, 2006 - 50 answers

I need The Office, only for non native speakers

I teach English in Buenos Aires and one of my students has asked me if we can watch some TV that's 'set in an office' and 'is in British English' (I haven't watched a lot of TV for some time). I've looked at The Office (too hard for all but the very advanced non-native speakers) and The IT crowd (too weird for this chap). Any suggestions? [more inside]
posted by itsjustanalias on Oct 25, 2006 - 18 answers

Hand writing and note-taking

I am an ESL teacher, and I have several types of classes; however, I have one problem, my handwriting looks as if I were a five year old scribbling with a crayon. So I am curious if anyone might have any suggestions on getting better at handwriting and printing for someone who doesn't have time to go to a course. Also, a second related question, are there any ideas for making conversation corrections? When my students are speaking, I write down various things that they are saying, and make various corrections, or simply offer alternatives, or local dialect. What are some of the most effective and useful ways to do this? If there are any people who have spent any time learning other languages, what ahs helped you most? Thank you all in advance.
posted by Knigel on Oct 24, 2006 - 12 answers

Help me find this English Juvenile Historical Fiction!

English Juvenile Historical Fiction: Help me find three books, which are written in an intelligent "teaching" style loosely based on real events. Plenty... [more inside]
posted by ninazer0 on Oct 17, 2006 - 5 answers

"originality consists in returning to the origin" -Gaudi

Correct use: "consists of" vs "consists in" [more inside]
posted by primer_dimer on Oct 6, 2006 - 9 answers

What does one call something that contains the seeds of its own downfall?

What does one call something that contains the seeds of its own downfall? [more inside]
posted by viewofdelft on Oct 5, 2006 - 35 answers

It's not lecturing, it's e-lecturing

What can you tell me about adjuncting online? [more inside]
posted by BackwardsCity on Oct 3, 2006 - 2 answers

Mac OS X only knows English

Mac OS X 10.4 has a wonderful little feature associated with Dictionary.app : if press crtl + apple + D, it gives you the definition of the word under the cursor. Clearly this is only of limited use to a native english speaker, but I can imagine it being very helpful to non-native speakers, and I've very much love to have dictionaries in other languages (firsly French). However, it appears Apple never bothered to make any. Any idea what the file format is? Or how to make your own dictionary? [more inside]
posted by jeffburdges on Oct 2, 2006 - 9 answers

Getting into TEFL in the UK

What's the best way to get qualified in TEFL and find a teaching position, given that I've probably missed the start of the academic year? [more inside]
posted by London Irregular on Sep 18, 2006 - 6 answers

Teaching a teenager English-language idioms

Help me come up with a list of cool English-language idioms to teach my teenage foster daughter from Taiwan. Slightly [more inside]
posted by ClaudiaCenter on Sep 14, 2006 - 19 answers

passive voice question

He was killed; he got (himself) killed. It was sold; it got sold (possibly out from under me). What sort of semantic difference does using forms of "get" versus "be" in passive constructions convey? [more inside]
posted by kenko on Sep 8, 2006 - 12 answers

My vocabulary is large, it contains multitudes

LanguageArts: to the bilingual (or more) people in the hive... [more inside]
posted by seawallrunner on Sep 5, 2006 - 24 answers

Bloody Hell!

A general question about the etymology/evolution of profanity as it is generally used in the English language. [more inside]
posted by Navelgazer on Aug 30, 2006 - 18 answers

Doctor, Doctor, what's the correct abbreviation for doctor!?!

InaneQuestionFilter: When you abbreviate doctor, does it get a full-stop? ie. should it be Dr or Dr.? [more inside]
posted by ranglin on Aug 29, 2006 - 21 answers


I am looking for flashcards on three specific subjects. I've looked online and haven't had much luck. The first I don't really need help finding, "beginning spanish words". The other two have been more difficult. [more inside]
posted by JokingClown on Aug 28, 2006 - 5 answers

Help with, um, help....

Lately, much to my annoyance, I've encountered many examples of this kind of sentence: "Customers like their hamburgers to taste like, well, hamburgers." "The album `The Allman Brother's Band' by, um, the Allman Brothers is one of my favorites." "Dorothy has red shoes, a dog named Toto, and is from, wait for it, Kansas." My questions: is there a name for the "well" "um" and the "wait for it" in these sentences? Is there a literary term for this sort of thing? Am I wrong that this is a growing trend?
posted by pasici on Aug 19, 2006 - 41 answers

Is Oxford Seminar Worth It?

Will an Oxford Seminars course on teaching English abroad translate into a job? [more inside]
posted by greedo on Aug 18, 2006 - 3 answers

English Pronunciation Learning Tools

Can anyone recommend websites that would be useful for Chinese people wanting to learn English? [more inside]
posted by boosh on Aug 18, 2006 - 2 answers

What do these Italian phrases mean in English?

Help needed with Italian to English translation. I emailed an restaurant in Italy to ask for a reseravation in Italian (cut and paste from a phrasefinder) - they have emailed back to confirm booking (that bit I understand) but have run the next bit through babelfish and still don't understand what they mean... [more inside]
posted by janecr on Aug 17, 2006 - 5 answers

French to english translation

Parlez-Vous Fran├žais? I need a french to english translation. I love this short film and find it fun to watch but I think it would be even funnier for me if I knew what was going on. [more inside]
posted by tellurian on Aug 11, 2006 - 8 answers

Looking for a non-Indo-European language that sounds like English.

I was wondering if there are any non-Indo-European languages which would sound like gibberish, albeit English-like gibberish, to a native English speaker. [more inside]
posted by Frankieist on Aug 10, 2006 - 32 answers

Suggestions for good, interesting books on English grammar?

My girlfriend is Korean, and has been living in the US since 2000. Her English is fairly good, but she still makes a few grammatical errors on a regular basis, especially when writing. Can anyone recommend a good, and probably more importantly interesting to read, book on English grammar she could use to get better? [more inside]
posted by Sangermaine on Aug 8, 2006 - 16 answers

Correct Usage

So there has been an invasion of portuguese man of war jellyfish locally..... [more inside]
posted by sgobbare on Jul 29, 2006 - 16 answers

What essays for freshman composition?

Pimp my freshman composition class: what essays would you put on the syllabus? [more inside]
posted by wheat on Jul 27, 2006 - 30 answers

Must... not... lick... Macbook.

What word am I thinking of? There's a word that means something like, "an object that compels you to want to eat or lick it, even though the object is in fact not edible or meant to be licked". If it helps at all, I believe I've seen this word used to describe the new Macbook and its resemblance to an oversized piece of Chiclet gum. And btw, "pica" is not the word.
posted by satori101 on Jul 25, 2006 - 38 answers

Has english conquered the entire computer world?

Are there any programming languages where the keywords/reserved words are in a language other than English? (ie; if, else, for)
posted by jacalata on Jul 25, 2006 - 5 answers

The more you know ...

Can you recommend a program on DVD or PC for learning English as a second language? [more inside]
posted by Could it be, El Guapo ... on Jul 20, 2006 - 4 answers

Is there a term fo when people go by a single name?

Is there a term for when people go by a single name like Madonna or Cher? [more inside]
posted by Cochise on Jul 12, 2006 - 22 answers

Science and literature, post-1945

Next year I'm teaching a course on science and literature after 1945. What should I put on the syllabus? [more inside]
posted by josh on Jul 5, 2006 - 28 answers

Is the 'th' sound native to any languages other than English?

Is the 'th' sound native to any languages other than English?
posted by airguitar on Jun 24, 2006 - 31 answers

anon, anent!

Know any rare English prepositions? [more inside]
posted by footnote on Jun 17, 2006 - 11 answers

I Eat You!

Help me find a long lost Flash movie....Learn English. I am a Lion. I eat you! I am eating you! I ate you! [more inside]
posted by lemonfridge on Jun 16, 2006 - 2 answers

What does 'Terror' mean?

Is the definition of 'terror' as 'Violence committed or threatened by a group to intimidate or coerce a population, as for military or political purposes' a recent development, or a regional variation? [more inside]
posted by beniamino on Jun 11, 2006 - 21 answers

Speedy Revision?

Okay, I have realised that for my English Literature exam on Monday I have spent most of my time revising Blake (1/2 of the exam) and next to no time with Hamlet (the other 1/2 of the exam) learning quotes, key themes etc - we have read the play in class twice, the last time being about 4 weeks ago. Any help to make this exam go as painlessly as possible? I realise I may already be a lost cause. [more inside]
posted by philsi on Jun 8, 2006 - 29 answers

Calling All Lit-Heads

Bookworm MeFites: I'm looking for novels, short stories, and plays by white authors where their non-white characters speak in a dialect. For instance, the slave Jim in Twain's Huckleberry Finn. [more inside]
posted by rossination on May 25, 2006 - 45 answers

Je t'aime, fromage!

Help us figure out how to spend 9 months to a year in France. [more inside]
posted by kaseijin on May 22, 2006 - 14 answers

All your base are off of us

Did "based on" beget "based off of"? [more inside]
posted by Mr Stickfigure on May 16, 2006 - 28 answers

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