"I have never met a person who is not interested in language" Stephen Pinker
This is a blog about language.
Thinking about language intersects my interests, work and personal life, and I expect the following to be the main threads through this blog:
- As a user and student of English...my own (and others') thoughts about my mother tongue.
- As a tutor of English as a Foreign Language...insights into English and teaching through those attempting to grasp it.
- As someone living with a second language (British Sign Language)...another take on human communication.
What this blog is NOT about:
- It is NOT about correctness of grammar, usage and style. It's hard to believe from the mountain of words dedicated to this area, but there really are more stimulating discussions to be had about English than the well worn (sorry, well-worn) and often petty controversial' fuzzy edges of the language, such as when to use hyphens or dangling participles and all the other concerns of copywriters' style manuals. Stephen Fry deals with the folly of 'correctness' brilliantly in his blog http://www.stephenfry.com/blog/#more-64
- It is NOT about the origins of words and phrases. Well-covered elsewhere.
- It is NOT about the delights of idioms, clichés, euphemisms, new words, obsolete words, word games, etc. Again, the bookshelves are overflowing with these. I have no idea what the collective noun for a group of quail is, and I will make it my business never to find out.
There is so much more to language. More fun, more wonder. I want to look beyond the usual topics covered in popular language books and websites and communicate a more thorough and fulfilling understanding of language. I have found the word the to be far more interesting than square meal or sticky wicket. I don't expect the reader to agree with me now, but read on and you might.
Language is used so much, but rarely understood. There is a hidden world literally under your nose. Let's start the journey on a trip off your tongue.