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  • Language and words in the news – 24th October, 2014

    Posted by on October 24, 2014

    © Ioannis Kounadeas / Fotolia.comThis post contains a selection of links related to language and words in the news. These can be items from the latest news, blog posts or interesting websites related to global English, language change, education in general, and language learning and teaching in particular.

    Feel free to contact us if you would like to submit a link for us to include, or just add a comment to the post, with the link(s) you’d like to share.

    Language change and slang

    The linguistics of LOL
    LOLspeak was meant to sound like the twisted language inside a cat’s brain, and has ended up resembling a down-South baby talk with some very strange characteristics.

    In defense of ‘anyways’
    This is not a bit of backwater American slang. In fact, it’s a word with nearly 1,000 years of history.

    From a language point of view, what’s happening in Iraq, Syria, and environs has revived words that have not been common for many years. – See more at: http://www.cjr.org/language_corner/language_corner_063014.php?utm_content=buffer811d0&utm_medium=social&utm_source=twitter.com&utm_campaign=buffer#sthash.WQopCEDs.dpufFrom a language point of view, what’s happening in Iraq, Syria, and environs has revived words that have not been common for many years.From a language point of view, what’s happening in Iraq, Syria, and environs has revived words that have not been common for many years..

    Global English

    Ebola, the word
    There’s no mystery about Ebola—the word, that is, not the disease. We know exactly when and how it began, in 1976. But why does it have the stress on the second syllable?

    Improve your English

    Besides, a dodgy discourse marker
    Connectives can be tricky to master. Here’s some advice on how to use one of them.

    Books, dictionaries, technology, words and language

    How Dylan Thomas got playful with English grammar
    To mark the centenary of Dylan Thomas’s birth, Guy Masterson considers the Welsh poet’s original way with the English language.

    MotionSavvy Is A Tablet App That Understands Sign Language
    A Californian tech company is building a tablet case that can translate American Sign Language into English and vice versa.

    Single Quotes or Double Quotes? It’s Really Quite Simple
    Call me unobservant, but until I read this I hadn’t realised that UK and US practice is exactly opposite. Or that the subject aroused such strong passions.

    The Twelve Stages to Learning a Foreign Language
    A lighthearted take on the pains and pleasures of language learning.

    The Omnificent English Dictionary In Limerick Form
    Possibly the most quixotic lexicographic project ever, this team seeks to collect at least one limerick for each meaning of each and every word in the English language. They expect to finish in 2043.

    Fun

    British parrot missing for four years returns speaking Spanish
    A pet parrot that spoke with a British accent when it disappeared from its home four years ago has been reunited with its owner – and the bird now speaks Spanish.

    Graphic

    Old world language families
    Useful and beautiful map of Indo-European languages: William Morris would be thrilled.

     

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  • Language and words in the news – 17th October, 2014

    This post contains a selection of links related to language and words in the news. These can be items from the latest news, blog posts or interesting websites related to global English, language change, education in general, and language learning and teaching in particular. Feel free to contact us if you would like to submit a link […]

    Read the full article
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  • Language and words in the news – 10th October, 2014

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    Read the full article
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  • On the subject of whodunnit

    A typical English sentence consists, as a minimum, of a subject followed by a verb: They left. If there’s an object, it comes after the verb: They left town. Other elements can be added in various positions: They left town. They all left town. They all left town yesterday. Apparently they all left town yesterday. […]

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Recent Comments

Recent Comments
  • Posted by Liz to Life skills tip of the week: ways of saying 'I don't know' on October 21, 2014 Hi Ahmad. You're right about the meaning of these phrases. I actually used them as an example of a way of saying you are unsure, in the life skills post on that topic: http://www.macmillandictionaryblog.com/life-skills-tip-of-the-week-saying-you-are-unsure-about-something Of course saying you don't know something and saying you are unsure about it are pretty similar concepts so it's not surprising that there is some overlap.

  • Posted by Ahmad Al-Wahy to Life skills tip of the week: ways of saying 'I don't know' on October 21, 2014 What about this (from your dictionary -- Macmillan!) '... "you never can tell" or "you can never tell" spoken used for saying that it is impossible to be certain about something You can never tell how long these meetings will last.' Perhaps this is a more up-to-date version of "No one can tell"?

  • Posted by Stan to The wacky world of ‘wack’ and ‘whack’ on October 21, 2014 Ian: There is now, thanks to you. John: It's pretty wack that whack's cartoonish connotations belie its probable origins in physical violence. I didn't know that about whelk – another interesting case.

  • Posted by John Cowan to The wacky world of ‘wack’ and ‘whack’ on October 16, 2014 Wacky, however, is < whack 'fool', presumably one who's been whacked on the head. So the spelling indicates an etymological distinction that doesn't actually exist. Whelk has a similar story: etymologically it should be welk.

  • Posted by Ian Mac Eochagáin to The wacky world of ‘wack’ and ‘whack’ on October 15, 2014 And not a mention of paddywhackery!