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Month: January 2022

The Revitalization of Modern Hebrew

By Gil Cohen

How does one revitalize a language? Does one administer CPR to it? Do they blow air into the lungs of a language? Why would anyone want to do it, anyway? Language is a means of communicating ideas in your head to the person you’re talking with, right? If so, shouldn’t it be enough if people can speak the same language? Unfortunately, that’s not always the case. As you may have read in my last piece (December issue, Methods of Teaching Languages in Class), sometimes people who immigrate to a new country speak different languages, and you need to have a common language which is one of the reasons Hebrew has been revitalized.

S is for……Surpass

By Chris Davy

One of the most important things to remember when trying to learn something, or get better at something is that the whole point is to surpass yourself.

Whatever you are capable of right now, after practise and study, are you capable of extra? Of something you weren’t capable of before?

But how do you achieve that? And how do you know if you are achieving that? How do you know if you are surpassing yourself?

Assembly of Animals: The Origins of Collective Names

By Catherine Muxworthy

Collective names – such as a pride of lions, a swarm of bees or a pack of dogs – are used to describe a group of the same animal together. Many of these terms were created during medieval times by and for the upper classes of society, written down and recorded in books of etiquette so that aristocratic people could avoid embarrassment while out hunting or fishing and, of course, separate the gentry from the peasants. The main resource for these collective nouns is The Book of Saint Albans, originally printed 1486. Many of the terms in this book are commonly used in modern-day such as a gaggle of geese.

Other collective nouns for animals (and other groups), however, are more modern in their creation but today there is no official list of collective nouns as English. The most interesting thing about collective nouns is that the ‘official’ recognised terms aren’t approved by anyone keeping records but are instead just the most commonly used ones.