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It's Been Said Before

By Orin Hargraves

It's Been Said Before "examines why certain phrases become clichés and why they should be avoided -- or why they still have life left in them."

New from Cambridge University Press!


Sounds Fascinating

By J. C. Wells

How do you pronounce biopic, synod, and Breughel? - and why? Do our cake and archaic sound the same? Where does the stress go in stalagmite? What's odd about the word epergne? As a finale, the author writes a letter to his 16-year-old self.

Academic Paper

Title: Impossible, in a possible sort of way
Author: Michael Bulley
Institution: United Arab Emirates University
Linguistic Field: General Linguistics
Subject Language: English
Abstract: The combination of possibly with can't and couldn't seems to me on the increase. Or perhaps I just notice it more since I've been living in France. For in French there is no direct equivalent of possibly. You have probablement (= probably), but there is no French word *possiblement. What, then, is going on when you find in English, to take a recent example, ‘For all the malfunctions of the past few years, it's assumed the structure of British society can't possibly be refashioned’ (standfirst to an article by Marina Hyde, The Guardian, 7 July 2012)?


This article appears IN English Today Vol. 29, Issue 2.

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