The aim of this blog is to serve as a meeting point to those who study or have studied English philology and, more broadly, to all those who love literature and language.

29 Nov 2009


I knew almost nothing about Robert de Beaugrande until today. He was just a name related to different linguistic concepts in a book of Análisis del discurso that I studied a couple of years ago. Today I came across this post in Vanity Fea blog that led me to browse through Beaugrande's website. The site collects many of this linguist's works and I'm sure it can allow the reader to discover lots of interesting studies and reflections on language.Just to illustrate this post, I have chosen the three quotations he included in his introduction to A Friendly Grammar of English:

Grammarians would perhaps differ less, if they read more.
-- Goold Brown, 1851

As the grammarians […] began quarrelling, they lost the power of discovering.
-- Charles Kingsley, 1854

It is a capital mistake to theorise before one has data.
-- Sherlock Holmes, 1892

21 Nov 2009


Una amiga me envía una serie de referencias sobre micropoemas, entre ellas este video que recoge unos cuantos, adecuado para pausas breves cuando no hay mucho tiempo para la poesía.

13 Nov 2009


A friend has sent me the following references to websites that include recorded poetry:

Lyrikline website collects poems recorded by their authors. They are organised according to language or author. Poems can be listened to and read at the same time. Many of them include translations to other languages.

PennSound is a project developed at the University of Pennsylvania, "committed to producing new audio recordings and preserving existing audio archives". The section about Classics helps us recall the works and authors we studied in the first years of English Philology.

Poetry Foundation also displays an organised array of recordings both through podcasts and videos.

Photo source:


When reading about kinds of dictionaries, I have come across the term "catch phrase" and had to look it up. I read in Wikipedia that a catchphrase "is a phrase or expression recognized by its repeated utterance. Such phrases often originate in popular culture and in the arts, and typically spread through a variety of mass media (such as literature and publishing, motion pictures, television and radio), as well as word of mouth".

This entry also includes a link to a list of political catch phrases. I have found a good number of familiar expressions, especially in the Spain and United States sections.

8 Nov 2009


After reading today's Quote of the Day (see below), I followed the recommended link and read about Kazuo Ishiguro having worked "as a as a grouse-beater for the Queen Mother at Balmoral before enrolling at the University of Kent". I had no idea about the meaning of that word and tried to look it up by googling the expression.

It has not been an easy task. I can find what a grouse and I understand the general meaning of beater but I have to rely on my "knowledge of the world" to imagine that a grouse-beater's job is to harass birds so someone hunts them easier when moving. Is it like that? Anyway, a curious job for a future writer and a curious employer for the activity.

" I couldn't speak Japanese very well, passport regulations were changing, I felt British, and my future was in Britain. And it would also make me eligible for literary awards. But I still think I'm regarded as one of their own in Japan."

Kazuo Ishiguro

3 Nov 2009


From this post in Palabras Tendidas blog, I learn about Free Rice, a non-profit website run by the United Nations World Food Program together with the Berkman Center for Internet & Society at Harvard University.

The programme works like this: you choose a topic from a selection of subjects (Geograhy, Art, English, Spanish, etc...) and start to answer questions in a quiz. For every right answer, ten grains of rice are donated by the UN World Food Program to help fight hunger in the world.

Why not try the English Grammar or the English Vocabulary sections and practise language while participating in this project.