language and words in the news

Language and words in the news – 27 March, 2010

© Junaid Khalid / Fotolia.comThis post contains a weekly 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 and language change. Please contact us if you would like to submit a link for us to include.

Global English

More bad English, please.
I’d like to see more bad English on mailing lists, and fewer apologies from non-native speakers about their poor English skills.

13 words not found in the English language.

Language change and slang

Homer Simpson contributed “D’oh!” to the English language.

Say what? A parents’ guide to UK teenage slang.
To illustrate the differences we gave the same phrase to children in different parts of the country and ask how they would say it in their own slang.

University of Chicago graduate hunts for nerdy graffiti.
Graffiti-hunting in that bastion of bookishness — the U. of C.’s Regenstein Library — yields beautiful moments for chronicler.

Things people say that I hate.

“Absolutely, you guys!”: 100 more words and expressions that tick you off.

Books, words, science and the history of language

Winner announced for world’s oddest book title award.

I, Translator.
Google Translate, which can so far handle 52 languages, sidesteps the linguists’ theoretical question of what language is and how it works in the human brain.

The great prescriptivist.
H.W. Fowler’s voice in this reissued classic is a human one, not fettered to a slavish devotion to strict rules of grammar.

The comment-box poets of the New York Times.
There’s poetry in everything, including the user comments of’s most popular blogs. Darryl Campbell investigates the web’s unlikely poetry community.

Innovations that benefit women.

Songbirds provide insight into speech production.
There are more similarities between birdsong and human speech than one may initially think.

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Jonathan Cole

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