Language and words in the news – 10th January, 2011

Posted by on January 10, 2011

The Language and words in the news series returns in 2011! This week, the first post of 2011 brings you a selection of links from the last couple of weeks. 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.

Please do contact us if you would like to submit a link for us to include. We’d love to hear from you!

Words (of the year) in 2010

“App” voted 2010 word of the year by the American Dialect Society
In its 21st annual words of the year vote, the American Dialect Society voted “app” … as the word of the year for 2010.

My awards for management guff
Another new award is for the Best Combination of Weasel Words. The overused “deliver” and “window” – which are only acceptable when referring to something that can be transported in a van or to something you can see through – are combined by Royal Dutch Shell to create something entirely opaque.

Words of the Year 2010
And on to the BrE-to-AmE winner. This is always a tougher category … The winner is not a particularly 2010 word –  instead, it’s one that’s been making steady progress in AmE over the past decade.

The latest in buzzwords, banished words
This month, Lake Superior State University issued its annual List of Words to Be Banished from the Queen’s English for Mis-use, Over-use and General Uselessness. The list was compiled from nominations from across North America throughout the year.

The year in language. The best and worst of 2010
I know, it’s getting a little late to reminisce about 2010. But besides being a new year, it has also been about a year since I started writing about language for Ideas …, and I thought it would be fun to look back at a year’s worth of the best and worst stories about words.

Global English

Parlons Anglais! Why French is very nearly mort in football-loving Rwanda
No one has conducted a scientific study of the rate at which French is eroding here, but anecdotal evidence is plenty.

Language teachers to go to U.S. for exchanges
Japan will beef up people-to-people exchanges with the United States this year by dispatching young teachers of the Japanese language and English to the country, government officials said Friday.

Language change and slang

Parentage goes ‘gender neutral’ on passport form
Goodbye, Mom and Dad. Hello, Parent One and Parent Two.

Language teaching and resources

S is for Small Words
‘Making small words do effective work’ might in fact be a definition of English grammar. Not being a highly inflected language, English makes use almost entirely of function words (or functors) … in order to convey all manner of grammatical relations …

Books, words, science and the history of language

Color Coming to E-Ink Devices in 2011
Chinese company Hanvon Technology is set to unveil the first full-color tablet using e-ink technology, at the FPD International 2010 trade show in Tokyo Tuesday.

Do Word Changes Alter ‘Huckleberry Finn? (discussion)
A new edition of “Adventures of Huckleberry Finn” has generated much controversy because it will replace the word “nigger,” which occurs 219 times in the book, with “slave.”

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