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’ […]