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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They’re here, they’re genderqueer, get used to gender neutral pronouns
One linguistic consideration of gender identity is the choice of pronouns to refer to a person who may be transitioning, or who presents an undetermined or neutral gender.
I hope that when I die, people won’t say ‘he passed away.’
The American Heritage Dictionary pays tribute to its longest serving usage panellist, a champion of clear language.
Books, language and dictionaries
European universities ‘hobbled’ by language laws
European universities are being stifled by laws that force them to teach courses in their country’s native language rather than in English, the rector of Maastricht University has claimed.
The comma, I’m amused to discover, is far more controversial than my sister’s transsexuality
Interview with the New Yorker copy-editor and author of Between You & Me Mary Norris. For those with more time there’s a long and entertaining piece by her here.
Noah Webster Would Have Loved Urban Dictionary
A true revolutionary, Webster thought Americans should break free from the old country, take charge of their language, and build a new standard from the ground up.
Find Out What Your Name Would be if You Were Born Today
If you’re American, that is. Maybe someone will do a similar thing for other English-speaking countries.
Young Women as Linguistic Innovators
The latest in BBC Radio 4’s Word of Mouth series considers the role of young women in language innovation (28 minutes). All the programmes are also available as podcasts.