04 / 11 / 10
The slang debate
When actress Emma Thompson warned teenagers against using slang on a recent visit to her former school, she probably didn’t expect to spark a debate. But spark one she did. It was, apparently, the ‘likes’, ‘innits?’ and ‘it ain’ts’ she heard bouncing around the Camden School for Girls, Thompson’s alma mater, which drove her ‘insane’. […]
15 / 10 / 10
Censorship? They’ve got an app for that
Apple has been awarded a patent in the US for a device to filter out ‘inappropriate’ language from text messages (otherwise known as ‘sexting’, apparently). Essentially, it is a way for parents to monitor and manage the content of their children’s texting. After all – as the patent tells us – ‘children may send or […]
29 / 09 / 10
Passion, or something like it
It probably won’t surprise you to find out that we’re pretty keen on the English language here at Emphasis. And we like to know that others are too. Fortunately, evidence of this is easy to find: look no further than the comments section at the bottom of just about any online article about our language. […]
21 / 07 / 10
To coin a word or drop a clanger, that is the question
On misusing or fumbling a word, is it better to hold your hands up to it or to compare yourself to the world’s greatest playwright? For Sarah Palin, apparently, the answer was easy. Her use of the entirely made up ‘refudiate’ was no error; indeed, inventing it was akin to something Shakespeare himself would have […]
25 / 06 / 10
The campaign to ban the bull
In our e-bulletin, we like to take a wild specimen of business-writing bull by the horns and tame it, so that it can be understood by all. The Ban the bull campaign was inspired by our gobbledygook amnesty back in 2009, which brought us the following offending sentence. And, despite the subject matter, there’s nothing […]
17 / 06 / 10
‘S Dickens, innit
He began by turning Shakespeare into txt spk. Now it’s Dickens for da yoof of today. Martin Baum, a father from Bournemouth, has rewritten Dickens in ‘yoof-speak’ in order – he claims – to get children interested in reading. ‘Kids today have invented their own language,’ says Baum. ‘And I use this language to […]
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