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We have arrived at the end of another year. It is traditional to look back and reflect on what was on our minds over the preceding 12 months and to see which blogs got your attention. After all, we write these pieces for you, to help you understand our language and the culture in which it is spoken.
American English is pervasive throughout the world, and so is our culture. It is very easy to explore American culture. It’s everywhere! Although, understanding why something is popular or controversial is not always very simple. We try to present you with context, the background information about whatever is the subject so that you better appreciate why it matters.
Here are the most widely read English Language blogs from 2018. These are five very different topics. Some are fun, some are dedicated to vocabulary, some to grammar, but all of them are presented to help instruct you in the complex and sometimes maddening nature of English. To read each blog, simply click on the link.
In 2019 we will continue to help you. You can help us by commenting on the blogs. Tell us what you want to know. Please feel free to let us know not only what you like, but what you don’t like. This blog is for you.
At the beginning of 2018, we took a look at the fine art of putting someone in their place. A good insult can be a beautiful thing and demonstrates a command of English. We also pay tribute to some of the great masters of the insult in English language history. Most notably, William Shakespeare, who described one of his characters as…
A knave; a rascal; an eater of broken meats; a
base, proud, shallow, beggarly, three-suited,
hundred-pound, filthy, worsted-stocking knave; a
lily-livered, action-taking knave, a whoreson,
glass-gazing, super-serviceable finical rogue;
one-trunk-inheriting slave; one that wouldst be a
bawd, in way of good service, and art nothing but
the composition of a knave, beggar, coward, pandar,
and the son and heir of a mongrel bitch: one whom I
will beat into clamorous whining, if thou deniest
the least syllable of thy addition.
In May, Sasha took us behind the lunch counter to explore the typical American mid-day meal. It was a video blog, giving you an opportunity to read and speak along as you acquainted yourself with things like pastrami, multi-grain bread, and a bowl or two of soup.
Almost the exact opposite of the insult blog, in April we had a lesson in using the magic word, please. The placement of that word in a sentence can make all the difference. It is also important to know when you should phrase your request in the form of a question, and when it is better to phrase it as a direct statement.
Way back in January we explored conditional sentences, also known as the if clauses. These included the open conditional, the hypothetical conditional, and the all-important unfulfilled hypotheticals. This blog got a lot of comments.
In March, Sasha gave us 25 common expressions about time. He also explained what those expressions actually mean, and even gave us all an example of each expression in a sentence. Clearly, this blog stands the test of time!
What do you want to read about in 2019? Is there something in the crazy world of English language which still puzzles and confuses you? Please let us know in the comments. In the meantime, have a very Happy New Year, and cheers!
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