British Library

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World Rivers Day

You may not know it, but a global celebration of the world’s waterways has taken place on the last Sunday of September every year since 2005. From rallies and special film screenings to community cleanups and riverside get-togethers, this annual event highlights the importance of our rivers and the need… read more

Recording of the week: Epic

This week’s selection comes from Rosy Hall, an ESRC-funded PhD student from Oxford University working with the BL’s Spoken English collections. Epic 3. b. colloq. (orig. and chiefly U.S.). Particularly impressive or remarkable; excellent, outstanding. (www.oed.com) According to one Urban Dictionary entry, the birth of ‘epic’ as a popular catchphrase… read more

Dialect Where You Least Expect It

Jonnie Robinson, Lead Curator of Spoken English, writes: The recent publication of fixtures for the 2017-18 hockey season may have escaped the attention of many sports fans in the frenzy of Transfer Deadline Day, but this week’s friendly between Southgate and Durham University was a personal highlight as, with a… read more

Mr Tickle in a Newcastle accent

Rosy Hall is an ESRC-funded PhD student from Oxford University working with the BL’s Spoken English collections. She writes: At the Evolving English exhibition at the British Library (2010-11), we asked visitors to submit recordings of their voices in specially designed telephone booths. Around 15,000 speakers took part, and the… read more