Tuesday, November 07, 2006


Before this item, a correction to my previous post: I inadvertently left in a floating line at the end, suggesting a link followed. Sorry, that was a typo. Bit late at night for thinking straight.
Here's an item I just posted on my college virtual noticeboard in Cornwall:
This is a link to an item about the Word of the Year in Webster's Dictionary: 'crackberry', used of those enthusiastic people who are addicted to their Blackberries or PDAs (note the absence of apostrophe there: see the Cambridge English Usage guide for info on when apostrophes are recommended in initialised terms like CDs, MPs, and when not, like 'dotting the i's'). Other contenders are mentioned there. Always an interesting activity, this, choosing the item most characteristic of a year, though linguistic purists and mavens might look askance. Take a look too at Susie Dent's 'Language Reports', where she examines whole ranges of such items each year. This year's came out recently; also great fun and wide-ranging are Kate Burridge's surveys of usage, named along horticultural-metaphorical lines - 'Blooming English' and 'Weeds in the Garden of Words' (all titles can be found by searching Amazon with the two authors' names).
Here's the link to the crackberry story:

Connections between texts on Paper 1: dealing with AO4

Question 3 on Paper 1 has often been a bit of a low-scorer for students and you can maybe see why. It comes an hour in to the exam, and you’...