March, 2016

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Five use a mysterious preposition

, Mar 30, 2016

Lurking in the seemingly innocuous pages of a classic children’s story is the perplexing use of an extraneous preposition. What’s it doing there? And what can it tell us about how language changes? Richard Ingold investigates.

From ‘Captain’s call’ to ‘refugiado’: WOTY 2015

, Jan 25, 2016

It's that time of year again. Linguists and wordsmiths the world over have come together to decree which word(s) should be given the top honour and crowned 'Word of the Year 2015'. Not everybody decides on the same one though, so here at Fully Sic we've collated a list for all your word-loving needs.
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, Oct 23, 2015

When buzzwords are harder to follow than a Game of Thrones plotline, it takes a particularly attentive word-watcher to keep track of the trends. Luckily, none other than David Astle is here to examine one that burned brightly but briefly for the impulsive cool kids.
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What’s in a name? Language and the (gay) marriage (equality) debate.

, Oct 16, 2015

The meaning of the word ‘marriage’ has been hotly debated in the media and in global politics over the last few years. To explore the role of language in shaping the debate about social changes, here’s Elisabeth Griffiths with an examination of the terms used by those for and against changing the legal definition of ‘marriage’.
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Words can wound. Let’s stop calling people ‘crazy’.

, Oct 08, 2015

This Mental Health Week, Erica Dodd explains why casually using terms that deride mental illness can have more of an effect than you might think.
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Negated Intensifiers: Not Super Duper Complicated

, Jul 08, 2015

They're the grammatical form to use when you want people to know you're not really keen on something. Tias Allard looks into a common English form that sometimes slips under the radar.
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Out with the newspaper, in with the gender-neutral title!

, Jun 12, 2015

A newspaper closes its doors but a linguistic window opens! Allie Severin thinks the shutdown of mX could mean good things for Australian English.

Skol! scull! scoll! … erm … skål?

, Apr 22, 2015

Did you hear the news!? Tony Abbott downed a beer! Quickly! A politician! The Prime Minister! Beer! Quickly! Beer! The story of Abbott’s recent drink-em-up isn’t, in the Grand Scheme of Things, really that remarkable. But there’s something about its coverage that caught our eyes at Fully (Sic) HQ: the spelling of what those around […]
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Swedes and Australians say yes to gender neutrality

, Apr 02, 2015

As society becomes more focussed on equality, some languages are evolving to include gender-neutral pronouns. Allie Severin and Hedvig Skirgård discuss how this is playing out in Swedish and Australian English.

Redefining the refugee

, Oct 21, 2013

Fairfax media reports that Immigration Minister Scott Morrison has sent a list of appropriate terminology for referring to refugee boat arrivals, including referring to the people as 'illegal arrivals' and 'detainees'. How does changing terminology change how we think about something?
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Jessica Mitford and a star-spangled language

, Aug 30, 2013

In 1939, writer and activist Jessica Mitford learned that in America, "if someone pays you a compliment—you're looking well, what a pretty dress, and so forth—you are supposed to say 'Thank you,' instead of just mumbling inaudibly." Piers Kelly observes that in 70 years, certain differences between U.S. and British styles of communication have stood the test of time.
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Magic pudding economics

, May 15, 2013

The Magic Pudding metaphor has become a mainstay of economic discourse in Australia. The idea of an ever-replenishing resource is too tempting a motif to pass up. But how recent is it? Piers Kelly looks back through the annals of Australian political discourse to find its earliest use, and finds some surprising sub-plots.
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Popularity of “Canberra bashing” lands it in the dictionary

, Mar 01, 2013

Although the city of Canberra is coming of age and celebrating its centenary this year, Canberra bashing remains a popular national pastime. So much so that the Australian National Dictionary Centre is adding it to the Oxford's Australian National Dictionary. Oxford University Press reveals the story behind the latest addition.
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Phantom vibration syndrome: Word of the Year

, Feb 07, 2013

The votes are in and phantom vibration syndrome has taken out Macquarie Dictionary's 2012 Word of the Year. So what is PVS? Long-term sufferer Aidan Wilson explains.
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Up-goer Five

, Jan 29, 2013

Big words and jargon confound and conceal - it's a common claim. James McElvenny looks at the recent Up-goer Five craze of explaining complex topics using only the 1,000 most common words.
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, Dec 07, 2012

The Australian National Dictionary Centre recently made ranga its word of the month and added it to the Oxford Australia Dictionary. The story of how it came to prominence is an interesting one - not hard when Jonah Takalua plays a role. Oxford University Press writes:
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Competition: Name the languages on the Yarra Trams posters

, Aug 29, 2012

Lauren Gawne writes: As part of the ongoing campaign Yarra Trams to remind Melbournians that trams are heavy things these posters have been popping up all over town: Can you name all 25 of the languages? The Fully (sic) team have worked it out but now it’s your turn! The first person in the comments section below to name […]
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Putting a price on London and the Olympics

, Jul 27, 2012

Lauren Gawne Writes: With the 2012 London Summer Olympics now only hours away, the world is set for a fortnight of fun and games. While the organisers may want us to remember them as a the greenest games ever, it is an event that is more likely to be remembered for missile launchers on public […]