Podcast: English Around Us


Today’s podcast is about the English around us thanks to globalisation. It is inspired by #KELTChat

English Around Us – November 5th 2014

The podcast is also available in the iTunes Store by searching for Get Great English or clicking here.

Also, you can stream it on Stitcher here or in the sidebar.

Contraction distractions


When you read English for fun you might see some words you cannot find in the dictionary. Some of these have apostrophes (‘). This means they may be contractions, words made shorter by missing out letters and replacing them with apostrophes.


‘Ol’‘ just means ‘old’, doesn’t it? Yes, but not in the way you might think. There is the usage of ‘old’ to mean ‘not young’ and there is also another usage of ‘old’ to mean ‘dear, having sentimental value or being familiar’. It is mainly American, common in the Southern states and is heard a lot in country music.

“This ol’ town feels like home.”

This could mean the town is old or dear to the speaker.

“Silly ol’ me. I should have gotten up earlier for school, I guess.”

The speaker here is not old but is familiar with himself or herself.


Li’l‘ is easy. It simply means ‘little’.

“This crazy li’l thing called love.”

“A li’l bird told me a secret.”