Language and words in the news – 15th June 2012

Posted by on June 15, 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

Sounds and symbols
In many languages, the macron indicates vowel length. But in traditional English phonetic transcription the macron is used very differently.

Language change and slang

Always your flavorite
Something about the slogan didn’t sit right with me. I get the portmanteau of  flavor + favorite; that doesn’t bother me, though it is nothing spectacular. So, it must be something to do with the adverb always or the possessive determiner your.

Improve your English

The sound of a sentence
Language can still be an adventure if we remember that words can make a kind of melody. In novels, news stories, memoirs and even to-the-point memos, music is as important as meaning.

Ah-choo
The word “allergy” was coined in 1906 from the Greek word, allos (different) and the end of the word “energy”.

Language teaching and resources

S is for silence
The teacher’s silence provides the cognitive and affective space within which the learner takes charge of his or her learning.  At the same time, by keeping quiet, the teacher is in a better position to ‘read’ the learner.

Books, words, dictionaries and languages

Using undictionaried words
Perhaps the primary use of dictionaries by writers is as a malapropism preventer, in order to avoid what should be called the “Princess Bride” problem: “You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.”

Babel or babble?
Ever since God confounded the people of Babel, we have been left with imperfect solutions to communicating across borders. One of those has been the lingua franca, a commonly known second language in which different nationalities converse.

What do hackers do with stolen passwords?
Add them to dictionaries, trade them on the black market, use them for “spear phishing.”

Cartoon

Cameron leaves daughter at pub
In the cartoon we see Cameron’s daughter in the pub lecturing a group of bored customers about the economy. One of them comments, ‘I hope Cameron collects her soon. She’s been droning on about the Eurozone crisis for half an hour now.’

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