Anthony Burgess’s lost dictionary of slang discovered

A Clockwork Orange author only managed entries for three letters and his abortive labours were thought to have gone for ever… The writer Anthony Burgess invented futuristic slang for his cult novel A Clockwork Orange and was so fascinated by the language of the street that he began work on a dictionary more than 50 years ago. Now his lost dictionary of slang, abandoned after several hundred entries covering three letters, has been discovered. The work had been hidden in a vast archive of his papers and possessions held by…

Summer School in English Corpus Linguistics, 5-7/07, London, UK

The Survey of English Usage at University College London (UCL) will be running a three-day Summer School in English Corpus Linguistics from 5-7 July 2017. This Summer School is an introductory course in corpus linguistics for students of linguistics and the English language which is designed to be accessible and inspiring! You will be taught at UCL in the heart of Central London by researchers based in the Survey of English Usage. Places are limited. Be sure to book early. Students are expected to have a basic knowledge of concepts…

The science behind the twisting alien linguistics of Arrival

By Rowan Hooper Science fiction thrillers usually send in gun-toting heroes like Will Smith or Tom Cruise to kick invading alien butt. Arrival is completely, wonderfully different: it sends in a linguist, played by Amy Adams. “Language,” one character says, “is the first weapon drawn in a conflict.” The big question to ask the aliens: what is their purpose on Earth? In Contact, the aliens used prime numbers as a Rosetta stone that could be used to decrypt their communication; in Close Encounters of the Third Kind they helpfully used…

LANGUAGE AND LINGUISTICS RESEARCH SEMINAR “Mock politeness: Perceptions vs practice”, Edge Hill University, UK

LANGUAGE AND LINGUISTICS RESEARCH SEMINAR Thursday 27 October 2016, 12 noon, M35, Main Building, Edge Hill University, Ormskirk Dr Charlotte Taylor (University of Sussex) In this talk I will discuss mock politeness (the kinds of behaviours that might get labelled as being ‘sarcastic’, ‘bitchy’, ‘passive aggressive’, ‘patronising’ etc.) and use the methods of corpus pragmatics to show the gap between perceptions and practice in two areas. The first area relates to gender and who performs mock politeness. Much previous research has reported that men perform sarcasm more frequently than women –…

Twelve incredibly British phrases the rest of the world doesn’t understand

Twelve incredibly British phrases the rest of the world doesn’t understand Posted 16 days ago by Narjas Zatat in offbeat Americans have always had a bizarre fixation with the Queen (a remnant of the empire George Washington couldn’t scrub away?) and her birthday seems to be no different. The Queen is turning 90 this week, and it seems people abroad are more excited than many Britons themselves. But how well do people abroad actually understand Britain? Here are twelve phrases that’ll be utter gobbledygook to everyone else but the British: 1. Bob’s…