About those absolute adjective orders…


In one morning I’ve been asked six times to comment on this topic. Does this mean my reputation as a linguist is improving?! Continue reading


Honorific Systems – Managing Politeness


At its core, language is used to get information across, whether it be a news bulletin, a train timetable, or someone telling you about their bizarre dream. But we can’t just go blurting things out; you also need to consider your audience… Continue reading

Knowing your ‘Tu’ from your ‘Vous’


English comes across as a bit of an exception when it comes to ‘politeness’ in languages. Sure, ask anyone English who’s been to a busy city centre and they’ll say they’ve said “Sorry!” to someone who was blocking their way (why do we do that?!), but how does politeness appear in other languages? Continue reading

Don’t take it personally…


My job involves a lot of verbal interaction, face to face and over the phone, encompassing a range of emotions from thoroughly chilled to tremendously racked-off! While I can’t give specifics over what I do for a job (because it’s a big secret. Okay, not MI5 big but big enough for me to get a P45 in the post if I blab) I can give out real-life examples of some interactions. And there’s one thing that really stood out for me today…

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