Jargon words and phrases

jargon (noun) British/UK English pronunciation: /ˈdʒɑː(r)ɡən/ American English pronunciation: /ˈdʒɑrɡən/ from Old French jargoun   The Oxford Dictionary of English Etymology  (my favourite etymology guide) has these definitions for jargon: meaningless talk speech specific to a trade or profession twittering or chattering of birds debased or hybrid language It’s one or both of the first […]

Improve your English: transition words

transition (noun) passage from one state, stage, subject, or place to another (Merriam-Webster Dictionary) From Latin transire ‘go across’ or ‘pass over’.   Whatever your goal or purpose for your writing – whether it’s to explain, inform, entertain or persuade – you need to express yourself fluently, and you need to present your readers with […]

Improve your English: the possessive apostrophe

  The possessive apostrophe is a punctuation mark (‘) used to show possession: to show that something belongs to someone or something. Apostrophes were first used to mark possession in the late 16th century, but without clear guidelines they continued to be used inconsistently for centuries. We have clear rules for their use now but […]

Business English: phrasal verbs frequently used in business contexts

Phrasal verbs occur frequently in English so it’s important that you can understand what they mean. And using them yourself makes your English more natural and more accomplished. There isn’t really a specific part of English that can be called ‘business phrasal verbs’, but there are many phrasal verbs that you’ll read and hear often […]