Language and words in the news – 12th July, 2013

Posted by on July 12, 2013

© 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.

Global English

Don’t say goodbye
An imaginative solution to the problem of making a graceful exit: “Ghosting—aka the Irish goodbye, the French exit, and any number of other vaguely ethnophobic terms—refers to leaving a social gathering without saying your farewells.”

The war of the words
The Economist’s Robert Lane Green signs off his language blog with a consideration of the ways US politicians use language. Unsurprisingly he finds they don’t come up to the standards of George Orwell.

Brummie slang of my youth
All you non Brummies out there will just have to forgive this shameless piece of self-indulgence. Hat-tip to Andrew McNaughton, a real (not adopted) Brummie.

Books, science, dictionaries, words and languages

Folk etymology: from hiccup to hiccough
Folk etymology is when a word or phrase is changed – phonetically, orthographically, or both – to better fit a mistaken idea about its origin. Stan Carey surveys some well-known ones, and even adds one of his own.

Book publishing’s big gamble
A view from across the pond on “the largest book-publishing merger in history” (with quite a good joke in the second paragraph).

Making Ћ English language better: a (long) history of failed attempts
An account of yet another attempt to reform English spelling, doomed – in the author’s opinion – to join all those that have failed in the past.

Video

Spelling myths and enchantments
“Many of the prevalent myths about spelling actually create barriers to learning it. But rather than just exploding the myths we have to build something to replace them.” This ten-minute video from Johanna Stirling suggests some ways to start doing that.

Fun

16 fancy literary techniques explained by Disney
Because why waste money on an English degree when you can just watch Disney movies?

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Many of the prevalent myths about spelling actually create barriers to learning it. But rather than just exploding the myths we have to build something to replace them – See more at: http://englishagenda.britishcouncil.org/seminars/spelling-myths-and-enchantments#sthash.u536iB1E.dpuf
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