An affix (prefix, suffix, infix, etc.) is a group of letters added to a word to modify the meaning or create a new word.
For example, the suffix -or can mean a person who does a particular action. Hence: actor, editor, inventor, visitor, etc. The prefix biblio- means book, from which we get words such as bibliography and bibliophile.
56 short videos from Oxford Academic. They accompany a series of books (many of them ebooks in UEA Library). The authors talk about their topics, e.g. Symmetry; Atheism; Taxation; Nelson Mandela. See also other video playlists from Oxford Academic.
Tatoeba is a database of sentences and translations. Enter a phrase and it shows example sentences in several languages.
For example, a search for get drunk finds 95 English sentences, such as:
Let's get drunk.
Don't get drunk.
Tom is getting drunk.
I never get drunk.
Getting drunk won't make things better.
Sentences come with a varying number of translations.
Tom gets drunk almost every evening.
Том се пијани скоро секоја вечер.
Том напивается почти каждый вечер.
Tom se emborracha casi todas las noches.
Tom hemen hemen her akşam sarhoş oluyor.
Том напивається майже кожного вечора.
Some sentences have been given tags such as “present continuous”, which you can then search for:
You are abusing your authority.
My heart's aching.
My brother is always acting foolishly.
typical English classes are not an effective way to learn English. They produce very slow progress, especially after you reach the intermediate level. Most learners, after years of attending classes, cannot speak English without making a lot of mistakes in grammar, vocabulary and pronunciation.
Instead, the Antimoon Method requires “massive amounts of input”, such as reading 60 pages and listening to 6 hours of English every week. It advises you not to focus on grammar rules. You should try to eliminate mistakes early on.
Can psychology help us to be funnier? Our presenter Ginny Smith hears how a key ingredient of humour is “incongruity” and the surprise of unexpected meanings. Individual words too can be amusing, but actually most of the time we laugh not because we’ve seen or heard a joke, but as a natural part of friendly interaction.
Besides the podcasts themselves, each episode is accompanied by links to background reading.
Stiff: The Curious Lives of Human Cadavers by Mary Roach
Salt: A World History by Mark Kurlansky
The Professor and the Madman: A Tale of Murder, Insanity and the Making of the Oxford English Dictionary by Simon Winchester (also titled The Surgeon of Crowthorne: A Tale of Murder, Madness and the Love of Words)
The Ghost Map: The Story of London’s Most Terrifying Epidemic – and How It Changed Science, Cities, and the Modern World by Steven Johnson
Longitude: The True Story of a Lone Genius Who Solved the Greatest Scientific Problem of His Time by Dava Sobel
The Emperor of All Maladies: A Biography of Cancer by Siddhartha Mukherjee
Seabiscuit: An American Legend by Laura Hillenbrand
In the Heart of the Sea: The Tragedy of the Whaleship Essex by Nathaniel Philbrick
At Home: A Short History of Private Life by Bill Bryson
Cod: A Biography of the Fish that Changed the World by Mark Kurlansky
In Lingthusiasm Episode 33 Lauren Gawne and Gretchen McCulloch discuss spelling.
Gretchen: I think of spelling systems across languages as kind of like living in a house. When you first move into a house, you unpack everything and you hopefully say, “Okay. I’m gonna be organised this time.” And you say, “This is where everything’s gonna go.” But the longer you’ve lived in a house, the more random boxes of stuff in the attic you have.
Lauren: English has lived in the house of the Latin alphabet for a very long time.
Herman Melville was born 200 years ago today (1st August 1819). He was an American writer.
His novel Moby-Dick (1851) is the story of Captain Ahab’s obsessive quest for revenge on Moby Dick, a gigantic white whale that bit off his leg. The novel begins:
Call me Ishmael. Some years ago—never mind how long precisely—having little or no money in my purse, and nothing particular to interest me on shore, I thought I would sail about a little and see the watery part of the world.
In The Periodic Table, Primo Levi — scientist, poet, writer — makes chemistry a metaphor for his life. But it becomes more than that. Chemistry shapes his life, defines his life, in Auschwitz even saves his life. It becomes his living. In the end, chemistry becomes everything: life itself.
A retraction is a statement in an academic journal that an article previously published in the journal is not valid after all. Usually this is because of plagiarism, fraud or serious errors. For example, in 2010 The Lancet retracted a notorious paper by Andrew Wakefield and others (published 12 years earlier) that linked the MMR vaccine to autism.
She explains how your first social internet experience influences whether you prefer “LOL” or “lol,” why ~sparkly tildes~ succeeded where centuries of proposals for irony punctuation had failed, what emoji have in common with physical gestures, and how the artfully disarrayed language of animal memes like lolcats and doggo made them more likely to spread.
The title comes from the online use of because plus noun. For example:
The London School of Economics Students’ Union Economics Society has an essay competition.
Entry is open to students in their final two years of secondary school, or in sixth form college (including students taking A-Level, the International Baccalaureate, or any other equivalent curriculum). Entrants do not have to be studying at schools within the UK – we accept essays from any school from all countries!
This year the questions are:
“We as a nation, lost $817 billion dollars on trade. That’s ridiculous and it’s unacceptable.” – President Donald Trump.
Do you agree that a trade deficit is always harmful to a country’s economy?
“If economists could manage to get themselves thought of as humble, competent people on a level with dentists, that would be splendid.” – John Maynard Keynes
Do you agree with Keynes? Justify your answer.
Should governments bail out banks that go bankrupt?
Recently, there have been proposals to introduce a 3-day weekend. To what extent is this economically feasible and would this benefit the economy?
The website Statista provides statistics and charts on business, industry, etc. Now you can easily cite them in your assignments. For example:
On the right of this chart’s Statista page you can see the Citation option:
Choose Harvard and you get this reference:
Facebook. (2019). Number of monthly active Facebook users worldwide as of 1st quarter 2019 (in millions). Statista. Statista Inc.. Accessed: July 17, 2019. https://www.statista.com/statistics/264810/number-of-monthly-active-facebook-users-worldwide/
You can copy this reference and paste it into your assignment.
Stephen B. Heard, whose blog Scientist Sees Squirrel we mentioned last week, is a biologist at the University of New Brunswick in Canada. He has written a book, The scientist’s guide to writing (Princeton University Press, 2016).
In the preface he says, “This book is designed for students and early-career scientists across the natural sciences (including mathematics).” There is a chapter for non-native speakers of English.
From the chapter titled Brevity:
Now, that was fun to write, but if advising writers to “be brief ” was all it took, you and I could both just skip this chapter. We can’t. I’ve reviewed, formally or informally, somewhere around a thousand manuscripts over my career, and all but a handful should have been shorter.
There are, of course, other books on scientific writing: for example, Writing science by Joshua Schimel, and Academic writing for international students of science by Jane Bottomley (printed copies in the Resource Centre).
If you’re like me, you’re continually frustrated by the fact that undergraduate students struggle to understand statistics. Actually, that’s putting it mildly: a large fraction of undergraduates simply refuse to understand statistics; mention a requirement for statistical data analysis in your course and you’ll get eye-rolling, groans, or (if it’s early enough in the semester) a rash of course-dropping.
Heard argues that:
we consistently underemphasize the single most important thing about statistics: that this complication is an illusion. In fact, every significance test works exactly the same way.
He goes on to explain how statistics classes can be made simpler.
Here, in a corpus consisting of 707 452 scientific abstracts published between 1881 and 2015 from 122 influential biomedical journals, we show that the readability of science is steadily decreasing. Further, we demonstrate that this trend is indicative of a growing usage of general scientific jargon.
The authors conclude:
more than a quarter of scientific abstracts now have a readability considered beyond college graduate level English.
So if you find a scientific article hard to understand, it may not be your fault!
The Little Book of Norwich by Neil R. Storey was published in 2015.
This book does not pretend to be a history, concise almanac or even a guide to Norwich; instead it is a collection of ephemeral, nostalgic and miscellaneous facts about a city brimming with history and full of fascinating stories.
It has chapters on unrest, royalty, crime, entertainment, sport, religion, food and many other topics.
For example, in 1272 the citizens of Norwich burned down the local monastery, killed many people and looted everything of value. The King arrived to punish the ringleaders, who were subsequently hanged. Even the Pope got involved.
Seven hundred years later (in 1971) boxing champion Muhammad Ali visited Norwich – to promote Ovaltine.
You’re not supposed to cite Wikipedia in your assignments, but hey, let’s stick it to the man. And there are occasions when citing Wikipedia is appropriate. Maybe you’re writing an assignment about Wikipedia!
For the year of publication, use the year when the Wikipedia page was last modified. This information appears at the bottom of the page:
This page was last modified on 17 August 2017, at 17:34.
Here is the format for a Harvard reference to a Wikipedia article about lithic flakes (archaeology).
(‘Title of article’, Year)
Channel flakes are caused by the fluting of particular Paleo-Indian projectile points ('Lithic flake', 2017).
‘Title of article’ (Year) Wikipedia. Available at: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/… (Accessed: date).
'Lithic flake' (2017) Wikipedia. Available at: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lithic_flake (Accessed: 26 June 2019).
The same format is used when citing other wikis:
'Caxambu Style Borborygmus Potion' (2018) Harry Potter Wiki. Available at: https://harrypotter.fandom.com/wiki/Leaky_Cauldron (Accessed: 27 June 2019).
'Corybas limpidus' (2018) Wikispecies. Available at: https://species.wikimedia.org/wiki/Corybas_limpidus (Accessed: 27 June 2019).
'Law of Cosines/Proof 3' (2016) Proof Wiki. Available at: https://proofwiki.org/wiki/Law_of_Cosines/Proof_3 (Accessed: 27 June 2019).
The Sherlock Holmes stories have been adapated many times for television and the cinema. The TV series that is most faithful to the stories is probably the one made by Granada Television between 1984 and 1994 and starring Jeremy Brett as Holmes.
There were seven seasons, grouped as follows. (The links go to playlists in BoB, where you can watch the entire series.)
A Study in Scarlet is the book in which Dr Watson first meets Sherlock Holmes, and therefore perhaps the best book to start with. If you prefer short stories, you could start with The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes.
The definitions of four SI base units – the kilogram, ampere, kelvin and mole – have been changed.
The new definitions are based on fixed numerical values of the Planck constant (h), the elementary charge (e), the Boltzmann constant (k) and the Avogadro constant (NA) respectively. They came into force on 20th May.
The smartphone you may be using right now to look at this unique Periodic Table is made up of some 30 elements – over half of which may give cause for concern in the years to come because of increasing scarcity. The issue of element scarcity cannot be stressed enough. With some 10 million smartphones being discarded or replaced every month in the European Union alone, we need to carefully look at our tendencies to waste and improperly recycle such items.