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Language and words in the news – 13th July 2012

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. 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

Hobson-Jobson: The words English owes to India
“It’s a madly unruly and idiosyncratic work,” says poet Daljit Nagra. “Not so much an orderly dictionary as a passionate memoir of colonial India. Rather like an eccentric Englishman in glossary form.”

Language change and slang

Sound change:  Who are the culprits?
I just finished William Labov’s Principles of Linguistic Change: Social Factors, which is a detective story. It’s organized around the central puzzler of historical linguistics: why does language change?

Improve your English

What he wishes he’d been told about cancer
Jeff Tomczek has an article in the Huffington Post on the things people didn’t tell him about getting cancer. It’s very good. But his title is a botch that I think must be due to the myth that English has a “past subjunctive” (which it does not).

How awkwardly to avoid split infinitives
Ah, split infinitives: what an unholy mess. Wise words from Stan Carey on a thorny question of style that never goes away.

Language teaching and resources

Word  Play
There are so many language sites out there it’s hard to keep track. Click here for what is described as “A collection of amazing word and language related sites on the web.”

Books, words and languages

Laser is an acronym for Light Amplification by Stimulated Emission of Radiation. Taser is an acronym too, but has nothing to do with laser.

Summer words

Three ways to eat ice
Here in the UK it has been raining since May, but we can dream, can’t we?

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Liz Potter

Liz Potter

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