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Academic Insights for the Thinking World

  • Language

The wiles of folk etymology

Words, as linguistics tells us, are conventional signs. Some natural phenomenon is called rain or snow, and, if you don’t know what those words mean, you will never guess. But everything in our consciousness militates against such a rupture between word and thing.

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Winter etymology gleanings

Both “thank” and “give” deserve our attention! And it is those two outwardly unexciting words that I’ll offer today as part of our etymological feast.

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From Halloween to Thanksgiving

Both “thank” and “give” deserve our attention! And it is those two outwardly unexciting words that I’ll offer today as part of our etymological feast.

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The sky’s the limit

English (uncharacteristically) has two, if not even three, words for the sphere above us: sky, heaven, and firmament.

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Wondering about the subjunctive

“He wondered if he were hallucinating.” I came across that use of the subjunctive while listening to the audiobook of Neil Gaiman’s American Gods.

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How is OUP contributing to the open research landscape today?

As a mission-driven university press, we strongly support the opening up of research and the benefits for access and inclusion that OA brings. We want to ensure that the transition towards open research is an inclusive process—to use the title of OA week, “it matters how we open knowledge.”

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Five key areas of communication for research integrity

Why do breakdowns in research teams occur? Often, it is due to a failure by all the team members to communicate clearly, honestly, and respectfully about the goals of the team and each individual, as well as expectations and understanding of responsible research conduct.

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After ice expect snow

Winter is round the corner, and the best way to prepare for it is to read a few murky stories about the etymology of the relevant words: “ice” and “snow.”

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Oftener and oftener

When I was growing up, someone in authority told me that way to pronounce often was offen, like off with a little syllabic n at the end. Often was like soften, listen, and glisten, I was warned, with a silent t.

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