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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The secret language of internet dating
There’s something bewildering about the world of online dating. It’s as if a geek in Silicon Valley invented a language, only forgot to tell anybody, let alone publish a dictionary.
Linguists are like, ‘Get used to it!’
It’s called the “quotative like,” and over the last 25 years, it’s become one of our language’s most popular methods of talking about talking.
The Best of Jon Stewart Words
A celebration of the linguistic fecundity of the Daily Show host.
So how do you say ‘garage’? and what if anything does that say about you?
Books, dictionaries, words and language
A discussion of pet peeves on a LinkedIn site for professional copy editors provoked some thought about the whole peculiar pet peeve phenomenon.
Talking of pet peeves, one man has made it his mission to eliminate instances of this one phrase from Wikipedia. I just wish they wouldn’t keep calling it a grammatical mistake.
A long decline
It was William Langland, author of “Piers Plowman”, who wrote that “There is not a single modern schoolboy who can compose verses or write a decent letter.” He died in 1386.
Sweet lovers love the spring?
It won’t have escaped your notice that today is Valentine’s Day. It seems that we owe the first reference to February 14th being a festival for lovers to Geoffrey Chaucer, whose Parlement of Foules, a long poem written in Middle English, tells how on this day Nature supervises the pairing off of the birds, thus marking the end of winter.
If you’re feeling unromantic, on the other hand, you may enjoy this video about the fascinating etymology of the word cuckold.
UK Accents Quiz
Test your knowledge of UK and Irish accents with this fiendish quiz. I say fiendish because I did very badly indeed.
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