Call out for word junkies…

You know how much I love you all, my lovely readers… and I know a lot of you are also talented bloggers – international bloggers at that. And you all blog in English, whether UK English, American English, Canadian English or Pidgin speak.

I started in my new role at Macmillan on Monday, and am largely involved in pushing and progressing the social media element of the marketing programme. One of the soc med elements that is currently working particularly well is the Macmillan Dictionary Blog, which looks at English as a language in all its guises, as a language of business, as a language of education, as a media-led means of communication, as military speak, as the language of the internet…. It discusses the linguistic element, the addition of new words to the dictionary and the fluid nature of words and grammar. If, like me, you’re a bit of a word junky, I highly recommend a visit.

One of the projects the Dictionary blog is undertaking this year explores English as a language on an international level. They are putting a call out for writers and non-writers to create guest blog entries discussing their own English. This is about celebrating your own brand of the language, your nation’s English, local dialects, even invented words. But here I’ll lift directly from Laine’s brief, as she phrases it so much better than I can:

So we’d like to hear about American English and Canadian English, Welsh English and Cornish English, Japanese English, Chinese English, Mexican English, Brazilian English, Scottish English, Franglish, Spanglish, ‘Stralian… we’d like to hear about Texan talk and the Queens dialect, about Geordie and Scouse, about Glaswegian vs Aberdonian, and about the words that you’ve only ever heard down your local. Whether you’ve got a story or anecdote to tell, an idea to discuss or a point to make, we want to hear about it.

If you think you might be interested and could help me out with a little (or long) post, please leave me a comment and I’ll email through the full brief. So many of you who read and comment regularly have such wonderful and varied ways with words, I just know you must have some interesting ideas about language usage. We won’t necessarily be able to publish every post we receive, but I’ll certainly be fascinated to read your opinions – and grateful to you all for helping me to impress!!

Thanks in advance, my lovely readers – I really look forward to your responses!


15 thoughts on “Call out for word junkies…

  1. OK, no promises (new mom, you know!), but I’ll give it a shot. I majored in Spanish in college which caused me to take a look at my English as well. I have a southern accent, and I think my favorite southern American English word is y’all followed by “fixin’ to.”

  2. You do have an awesome new job, I am aways amazed by the flexibility of the English language. I’m a native German speaker living in the US, and it is interesting to see how much “wrong” English is used in German. A cell phone is called a “Handy”, and a “Beamer” is not a car, but a projector. I believe the term Handy made it into German via Japanese…

  3. Hey Caroline – I see you have been working today in spite of no access (physical and internetal (?!))
    Awesome to see this here – just to add: We are focusing on a specific country each month. January is the month for Britain’s English (in all its fabulous guises) and February focuses on Brazil … Spain is in there too, but I’ll keep the rest a little secret for now 😉

  4. A particular phrase my grandfather would use (Southern US) to scare off stray dogs waas “Git on outta here” – however with the accent, the words would be run together so it sounded like “Gi-ohn-ow-heah”. Does that count as a word?

    • Aw, Christie, as a Texan living in England with a Welsh husband you must have some fantastic anecdotes to share! I know you’re a super-busy new mom, but if you could find a spare 15 minutes… am emailing you the brief just in case. xxx

  5. My grandfather used to yell: Voetsek!
    “Interjection. voe(r)tsek (voort sê ek – lit “Forth say I”). get lost! go away!
    Do you think we are nicer to our pets these days …?

  6. The Yorkshire dialect is rich and descriptive – we believe in using as few words as possible! Words I’ve not heard elsewhere include:
    nithering – cold
    whammy – poorly/ill
    ovver bi Bill’s mother’s – somewhere over there in the distance
    blethered – broken

    I’m sure I could come up with more, given time.

  7. my mum comes from the north east of Scotland & when I visited there often as a child, not only was the accent strong, they used entirely different words for things I haven’t heard anywhere else ever! I’m happy to share if you want!

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