Author Archives

Ibrar Bhatt

Senior Lecturer at Queens University Belfast

Da Lingua Code

Now that the unintentional sabbatical is over…. What do the following phrases have in common? Hasta la vista baby It’s a nice day, hana? Sometimes I’ll start a sentence in English y termino en español Answer: they are all forms of ‘code-switching’; that is, the (more or less […]


What precisely is a cliché? And is it really the ‘bad guy of the English language’? Or is that just a vexed question? As even bad guys have their defendants and McArthur in The Oxford Companion to the English Language reminds us that the general dislike of the […]

A decent book

By Nicholas Ostler Publisher: HarperCollins ISBN: 0007118708 Year: 2005 Pages: 624 Hardback Historical linguist Nicholas Ostler presents herein an in-depth and comprehensive biography of the world’s languages—a story that has been little told; making this book one of a few in this genre (see also ‘Dictionary of Languages’ […]