Language and words in the news – 11 September, 2009

Posted by on September 11, 2009

Fotolia_6006766_Subscription_rThis 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

Poor language skills hamper UK.
The UK will be held back as it seeks to emerge from recession unless it boosts the number of language graduates, campaigners say.

UK: Universities ‘forced’ to stop teaching languages.
Applications for language degrees are drying up, says head of vice-chancellors group.

UK: Pupils play madame in language class.
‘The children doing the language of the month are treated like little movie stars and that’s the way they get to see themselves.’

Canada: Official Languages Act’s 40th year marked.

USA: Not English only.
‘This is America! Speak English!’

Children can learn a second language in preschool, study finds.

English is toughest European language to read.

Common errors in English

5 grammar mistakes that make you sound like a chimp.

Grammar gaffe at Google apps for students.

One in the eye for slipshod signwriters.
“Thank you for your patients whiles we improve your store.”

Language change and slang

‘Bailout,’ ‘climate change’ top buzzwords.
What have been the USA’s busiest political buzzwords since the inauguration of U.S. president Barack Obama?

Things people say that I hate

George W. Bush tops English gobbledegook poll.
Former U.S. president George W. Bush topped a poll of the worst examples of mangled English released Wednesday, followed closely by Arnold Schwarzenegger and Donald Rumsfeld.

Atrocious.
Adjective control is getting lax at Broadcasting House.

Books, words and the history of language

It’s a woman thing.
The word ‘woman’is not derived from (or a mere variation on) the term ‘man’. The story is much more complicated.

Children’s illustrations of idioms.

Missing the nuance.
The most effective writing uses words sharply and precisely.

Are dictionaries becoming obsolete?

Word games.

Read last week’s post or  more about language and words in the news.

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