Tagged With mind your language

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Whether you call it the dunny or the porcelain throne, having access to the local facilities can be a matter of life or mess. This can lead to particularly hairy situations in foreign countries that don't understand your frantic jibber-jabber. With that in mind, here are the phrases to flash up on your phone when nature calls.

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English is a weird language. None of our grammatical rules ever seem to be evenly applied without exceptions, and irregular verbs are no different. For most verbs in the English language, changing to past tense is as simple as adding 'ed' on the end. But then there's a whole host of words that don't conform to that rule. What gives?

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The internet has made it easier than ever to find love, sex and companionship. This is largely thanks to a proliferation of niche and mainstream dating apps that cater to basically everyone.

The only downside is that you now need to keep tabs on digital dating slang, which is constantly changing. Here are some popular emerging phrases to get your head around - from 'benching' (stringing along a romantic partner for potential substitution) to 'hatfishing' (purposely hiding a bald patch in your profile pics!)

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There is no "ch" or "sh" sound in bruschetta. Hummus rhymes with "doofus". And croissant definitely doesn't have an audible "t". These are just some of the famous-food pronunciations that people regularly screw up. (Don't get us started on "gyro"!)

Fortunately, it's not too late to education your tongue while tantalising your taste buds. This handy infographic explains all the mistakes you've been making in restaurants - and how to correct them.

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Quick, think of things that are fast! Rockets? OK. Cheetahs? Sure, absolutely. Bullets? Oh, yes, quite. A bowl of rich, creamy soup? Ah, generally, no. Not so much. Then why do we call cars that have been made to go faster “souped-up?”

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The English language was first spoken in early medieval England around 1400 years ago. This gradually gave rise to today's 'Modern English' which became the dominant form by the 1550s. Today I discovered some of the earliest English words that are still in common usage today.

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Do you know the difference between a hyphen and a dash? An em-dash and an en-dash? Do you know the different situations where they should all be used? Or are you just using whatever dash-shaped symbol you can find on your keyboard or in Word's auto-formatting? If you want to score some serious grammar points, come in and read up on all the different dashes you should be using.

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In Edward Albee's Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf, the character of George is haunted by a decades-old memory of accidentally ordering a "Bergin and water" in a crowded pub. While most of us know the difference between bourbon and gin, it's possible you've made a similar faux pas to the sniggers of nearby barflies without even realising it. Here are 20 popular alcoholic beverages that you might be mispronouncing.

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Some words and phrases sound like they should be interchangeable, or are so similar it's hard to tell the difference between. But in the complicated world of English grammar, even these subtle differences can change the entire meaning of a word. Here are 12 common words you need to be careful about mixing up.

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So I'm at the supermarket, and I glance at the cover of trashy real-life stories magazine That's Life, because I'm always hoping that it will one day feature a headline as spectacular as the classic 'IS YOUR FRUIT SALAD PSYCHIC?'

There's nothing quite that glorious, but there is this: 'Budget Queen: I Feed A Family Of 10 For $120 A Week'. So obviously I had to buy it.

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Dating terminology has gotten a lot broader - and a lot weirder - since the advent of smartphones, social media and online dating. It seems like every other day there's another pithy metaphor, slang word or acronym to jot down or brush up on.

Whether you're trying to keep up in the Gen Y dating scene or just want to decipher your teenage kid's wholly alien vocabulary, this glossary of love lingo is here to help.

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The English language is constantly evolving, with new words and phrases spreading among us like an infection - we hear things, then we say those things. The problem is that we don't always bother to wonder if we should. Because of that, the original meaning of some demeaning and hateful expressions get lost in time. Here are some widely used examples.

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Even if your conversational partner can't hear you laughing or see you smiling, it's important to express your appreciation of a joke or a funny story. The many popular options can be boiled down into two types: The hahaha of simulated laughter, and the lol of metaphorical laughter.

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Every language has its own slang and phrases you should master to sound like a true native speaker. Australian English is no exception.

You may have heard “G’day mate”, “fair dinkum”, and “strewth!” before, but the dialect is much broader than that. Try these next time you speak to an Aussie and you might convince them you’re “true blue”.

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Just how likely does "probably" sound to you? To some people, "probably" means that something is practically locked in. To others, it means the likelihood of something happening is highly dubious. This graph assigns percentage values to a range of common phrases relating to probability. Turns out you should say "almost certainly" instead of "probably" if you want to minimise doubt.

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At approximately 12am tonight, the 2017 Perseid Meteor Shower is set to wow the world. Many eyewitnesses will use the words "meteor", "meteorite", "comet" and "asteroid" interchangeably to describe the celestial event they're seeing.

In reality, these are all completely different types of space rock. If you want to avoid a social faux pas tonight (or want to be the smarty-pants who corrects fellow stargazers), here's what sets each type apart.