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.
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Literally – the much misused word of the moment
It’s like literally so misoverused. But whereas Jamie Redknapp gets the word nonsensically wrong, writers such as James Joyce knew exactly what they were doing with it.
Tiger bread renamed giraffe bread by Sainsbury’s
The UK supermarket chain Sainsbury’s has renamed its tiger bread “giraffe bread” – and all because a three-year-old wrote to them pointing out that the bread’s crust resembled a giraffe’s spots more closely than a tiger’s stripes.
Polysemy in Winnie-the-Pooh and other stories
Once upon a time, a very long time ago now, about last Friday, Winnie-the-Pooh lived in a forest all by himself under the name of Sanders. (“What does ‘under the name’ mean?” asked Christopher Robin. “It means he had the name over the door in gold letters, and lived under it.”)
Spelling “stationery” and “compliment”
English has many pairs of words that differ only by a letter or two and are easily confused. Here are some handy tips to help you remember the spellings of two of these sets of words.
Books, words, languages, and science
The gift of tongues: what makes some people learn language after language?
How many languages do you speak? In a new book on people who speak huge numbers of languages, Michael Erard says that “true hyperpolyglottery begins at about 11 languages, and that while legends abound, tried and tested exemplars are few”.
Science decodes “internal voices”
Researchers have demonstrated a striking method to reconstruct words, based on the brain waves of patients thinking of those words.
16 different ways to say “I like it”
In this video the winner of our Macmillan Love English Award for best blog, Luke’s English Podcast, takes you through some of the many different ways of expressing your appreciation in English.