Friday, May 01, 2009

Professor Dolan on American English

Last night, Professor Terry Dolan talked to our senior pupils about the origins and history of American language. He is pictured above with staff and visitors at dinner before the talk. During an informal talk in the Drawing Room to VI, V and IV formers, he ranged over the origins and uses of words such as 'kibosh', 'OK', 'cool', 'caucus', 'dollar', 'buck', 'Yankee' and 'bagel', and then answered many questions about all sorts of words used in different versions of English, including Hiberno-English.

Professor Dolan was educated at Queen's College, Oxford, where he was Hastings Senior Scholar and later Junior Dean. He worked at University College, Dublin, from 1970 in the Department of Old and Middle English, being first Associate Professor, and then Professor of English and Professor of Hiberno-English. He retired from UCD a year ago. He has been a guest lecturer all over the world, including Brazil, Egypt, USA, Denmark, China and Belgium. He was Director of the International James Joyce Summer School in Dublin. He has also broadcast widely on BBC and RTE, and has a regular slot on Sean Moncrieff's afternoon show on Newstalk where he discusses 'The Meaning of Words'. He is the compiler of the Dictionary of Hiberno-English, a new edition of which he is working on, and his website on Hiberno-English can be visited here. See today's other post for details of his podcast interview on Geoffrey Chaucer.

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