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Language and words in the news – 14th December, 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

How to Say ‘Google’ in Every Language (Almost)
Since Google the verb … officially entered the American lexicon in 2006 … other languages have followed suit, co-opting the active version of the word. And, come on, of course they have. How else could non-English speaking people tell their non-English speaking friends to “just Google it”?

Learn English online: How the internet is changing language
Users of Facebook already socialise in a number of different “Englishes” including Indian English, or Hinglish, Spanglish (Spanish English) and Konglish (Korean English). While these variations have long existed within individual cultures, they’re now expanding and comingling online.

Language change and slang

Audio: The Best and Worst Words of 2012 (34 minutes)
Ben Zimmer, Chair of New Words Committee of the American Dialect Society, talks about the year’s vocabulary and the best and worst words of 2012.

Young more likely to judge spelling and grammar online
The findings indicate that in an age of endless consumer choice online, young people are more naturally demanding when it comes to more traditional markers of quality as well as making the greatest use of the internet for research.

On giving advices
What seems to be happening is that the original instinct to use advice and the other words in both countable and uncountable ways is reasserting itself. People who have not been influenced by a prescriptive mindset in school are most likely to use it – which mainly means the millions learning English as a foreign language.

Language teaching and resources

The Most Common Grammar Gaffes Writers Make (and How To Avoid Them)
An obvious sign of self-publishing is the presence of gaffes — unintentional mistakes that cause embarrassment — in a book. It’s easy for authors to make these mistakes because editing, particularly copy editing, is a different skill from writing.

Books, dictionaries, words and languages

Lexicography class creates dictionary for Athens community
To combine all of the Athens slang in one area, Don McCreary created the dictionary DawgSpeak with the help of his lexicography class in Park Hall. The class was first available in 2001, and every two years, McCreary teaches a class that works to update the dictionary.

Adolescents Under Pressure to Speak ‘Properly’
As adolescents transition to adulthood, the pressure to meet adult expectations — such as speaking properly — may be greater than expected, according to a new study by a Michigan State University researcher.

A bit of fun from …

grammarly: ‘Twas the night before Christmas

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Kati Sule


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