Saturday, April 12, 2008

I speak American

At an international conference in Toronto in April of 2008, many speakers from Canada and Europe spoke a language--English--that I thought I did too. Besides their accents, these speakers used vocabulary with which I was often only vaguely familiar. And sometimes not at all. So I started taking notes. Here are the words and phrases that "caught my ear:"



social inclusion

second chance learner

wicked problems, issues

second cycle learners

moral blot on society

widening participation

weasel words: excellence


admissions tutors

case managers

work from the same hymn sheet

purple patch

lead, or be led

thinking forward

third level, second level

white paper

green paper

dedicated funding stream

concession on competitive entry

from the margins to the mainstream

clean slate policies

go forward basis

social cohesion

top up skills

discourse of marginality


first nation




go forward actions

ginger group

The winner was a phrase used by Grace Edge of Trinity College in Dublin, Ireland. While making a presentation, Grace pointed to the blackboard and said:

"bring your eye up to …"


At 9:50 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Tom,

I have read and reread your post and can't seem to absorb your intent? Is it that you are unfamiliar with the words or that you didn't think these words were appropriate per the context of the conference? Please explain.


Confused Contrarian


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