For the unmentionables that are obscene and not heard

Holy Sh*t: A Brief History of Swearing

It's great stuff, swearing. It stiffens the sinews and speeds up the blood, and not just metaphorically. Obscenities act on us physiologically: swearing increases electrical conductance across the skin, pushes the heart rate higher and increases resistance to pain.

Sunday, 9 June, 2013, 3:39pm

Polish is second most spoken language in England

Polish is second most spoken language in England

The language-speaking figures recorded for the first time from a survey of 56.1 million residents of England and Wales show 546,000 speak Polish. It is now the second main language in England. There are still slightly more Welsh speakers in Wales at 562,000.

31 Jan 2013 - 4:39am

State media attacks use of clichés by officials

State media turned on the government's own use of language yesterday, mocking a list of "repulsive" official clichés submitted by the public.

The shaming of bureaucrat-speak, hosted on the microblog of People's Daily, came after the new leaders slammed the culture of long speeches and meetings and urged better governance.

11 Jan 2013 - 4:54am

'Positive energy' chosen as number one Chinese catchphrase of the year

Zhengnengliang, which means positive energy, was the number one saying of 2012 on the mainland from a list of top 10 catchphrases compiled by a leading linguistics magazine. Photos: SCMP

A catchphrase meaning "positive energy" has been named the most popular phrase of 2012 on the mainland, reflecting growing public demands for sweeping change amid disenchantment with corruption, pollution and widening wealth and social divides.

3 Jan 2013 - 10:18am

Canada's United Steelworkers union warns Chinese miners pose safety risk

Canadian miners have lodged a demand that work be halted at a controversial Chinese-staffed mine in British Columbia. They say Chinese miners' inability to speak fluent English represents a safety hazard.

The United Steelworkers union filed the complaint with the province's minister of mining, Rich Coleman, and chief inspector of mines, Al Hoffman.

18 Nov 2013 - 5:03pm

What's being said on

On HK dropping in global survey of English proficiency:

Simon Li - It's already a common fact that the older generation speaks better English than the younger ones. Just ask the Western tourists in Hong Kong, they'll give you a very good picture. They all end up very surprised to find that the younger Hkers have a poorer grasp of English, until they find out the reason.

31 Oct 2012 - 2:40am

Vocabulary boxes

Due to technical problems, Young Post is unable to run vocabulary boxes at the bottom of its pages. They will be resumed next week.

23 Nov 2011 - 12:00am

Language Central for Science

Over the years as a teacher, I've come across many bright foreign students who take classes below their learning ability because they fail to make the passing grade when tested in English and they struggle to make themselves understood. This is a shame because it is holding back students' real capabilities.

9 Oct 2011 - 12:00am

Move to promote sign language

10 Sep 2010 - 12:00am

Learning that language is more than just talk

Blockbuster film Avatar may be breaking box-office records and stunning audiences with its 3D effects, but the movie also has people talking for a different reason. The invented Na'vi language spoken by characters in the film's alien world, and credited to a university professor in California, has drawn new attention to the subject of linguistics.

16 Jan 2010 - 12:00am

Language's magic can't be taught by rote

Hong Kong has used up eight of its nine lives in education reform. Now, all eyes and hopes are on the new '3+3+4' programme, which will extend the time at university from three to four years. But, unless we arrest the decline of language - which, according to George Orwell, is a sign of social decline - our hopes are just prayers. Language is social.

31 May 2008 - 12:00am

Tuning in and zoning out is the enemy of communication

Anecdotal evidence suggests that many youngsters in tech-savvy Hong Kong are more proficient at interacting with electronic gadgets than they are at communicating with their fellow human beings. One aspect of this was highlighted recently in the South China Morning Post ('Alarm over child speech development', City, April 30).

10 May 2008 - 12:00am

Learn English by speaking it

English has been the international language for many years. It affects our current study and our future careers. We should work on our English as early as possible.

We can start by reading English books. This will teach us new vocabulary and sentence structures. We should also pay attention and participate in class.

12 Oct 2007 - 12:00am

Body language

Students at the Lutheran School For The Deaf will stage a performance of two fairy tales - The Emperor's New Clothes and Three Little Pigs - tonight. In preparation for the performance, they took part in a three-week workshop.

The three-week workshop was conducted by visual theatre veterans Luis Aguilar and Tami Santimyer of the American deaf theatre group Quest.

22 Aug 2007 - 12:00am

Flowers power

MOST STUDENTS OF English, keen to improve their language skills, take classes or practise on friends. Fan Wu wrote a novel.

31 Aug 2006 - 12:00am