Ecco una panoramica delle parole dell’anno 2018, ossia le parole più significative e rappresentative dell’anno che sta per concludersi, selezionate dalle redazioni dei più importanti dizionari di lingua inglese.
Parole che hanno a che fare con l’attualità, la politica, la tecnologia, l’ambiente… insomma, parole che dovrebbero rispecchiare lo spirito dei tempi!
Solo alcune di esse sono neologismi: nella maggior parte dei casi, infatti, si tratta di parole già in uso che hanno visto una maggiore frequenza di utilizzo, magari in collocazioni o contesti nuovi.
In altri casi, può esservi stata una riattribuzione di significato che amplia lo spettro semantico di una parola già nota.
Words do some truly inventive things when they change, and change they always do. Some switch their sounds around, like when hros became hors, nowadays spelt with an extra e as horse. Some lose their sense of having an internal composition, like when wāl-hros ‘whale-horse’ became walrus. Some cave in to peer pressure and change their looks to conform with others, including one of my favourite cases in English, when under the influence of similarly-meaning words probably, possibly, plausibly which all end in -bly, we get supposably, which is how in some varieties of modern English you can say ‘supposedly’. One the of truly odd things that words do though, is to start stealing sounds from their neighbours.
A famous case in English is an apron, which used to be a napron, until the n got snaffled by the a. It goes the other way too. A newt was originally an ewt. Of course, in Middle English when this n-theivery was underway, there were a few more words complicit in the heist, for example my napron also became mine apron, and your napron became yourn apron, since at that stage in English, words like my/mine, your/yourn worked like a/an.
“English is the world’s second language. Your native language is your life. But with English you can become part of a wider conversation – a global conversation about global problems, like climate change or poverty, or hunger or disease.”
Jay Walker explains why two billion people around the world are trying to learn English.
He shares photos and spine-tingling audio of Chinese students rehearsing English – “the world’s second language” – by the thousands.
Punctuation is the art of clarifying how a group of words falls together into contractions, clauses, and sentences. Unfortunately, it is not at all clear how some punctuation marks should be used! Let’s take a look at several popular, though confusing, punctuation marks. Even if you think you’ve got the topic all sewn up, it’s worth having another look.
1. Possessive apostrophes
The possessive apostrophe is a tricky one, hanging around the ends of words, but in several different ways. So how exactly should we be using it?
Let’s start simple. For a singular noun, such as dog, you add an apostrophe plus s to the end: The dog’s collar was covered in mud.
For a plural noun, such as elephants, you add an apostrophe to the end: The elephants’ parade was troubled by rain.
For a plural noun that doesn’t end with s, you add an apostrophe plus s to the end: The children’s party went on as planned.
The place it gets tricky is with personal names, such as Charles and Ulysses, which already end in an s sound. In those cases, you generally add an apostrophe plus s if you naturally pronounce an extra s when you say the word out loud: Charles’s new tie is fantastic.
If you don’t pronounce an extra s when you say the word, then leave it out: Ulysses’ presentation is set for Monday.
Il 26 settembre di ogni anno, a partire dal 2001, si festeggia la Giornata Europea delle Lingue (in inglese: European Day of Languages), per coinvolgere ed informare la popolazione europea sull’importanza dell’apprendere una o più lingue straniere.
Gli obiettivi dell’iniziativa – promossa dal Consiglio d’Europa – sono quelli di favorire la comunicazione e la comprensione interlinguistica e interculturale, nonché di incrementare la diffusione del plurilinguismo e sensibilizzare sull’importanza dello studio delle lingue, sia in ambito europeo che su scala globale.