Language and words in the news – 15th November, 2013Posted by Kati Sule on November 15, 2013
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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Learning to Speak Brazinglish
Brazinglish … is very casual and reckless, and often chooses to go literal just to avoid making the effort to explain better. The results are word-by-word translations with an unintelligible (or quite strange) content, sometimes nothing more than playing with sounds.
In the United States, “hey” is gradually taking the place of “hi” in friendly greetings—whether in person or online.
‘Because’ has become a preposition, because grammar
Because X is fashionably slangy at the moment, diffusing rapidly across communities. It has a snappy, jocular feel, with a syntactic jolt that allows long explanations to be forgone. Because time-strapped. Maybe the causal factor is so obvious as to need no elaboration, or the speaker is distracted or giddy, or online and eager to save effort and move on, or maybe the construction appeals for undefined aesthetic or social reasons.
Books, science, dictionaries, words and languages
Huh? Scientists find a version in each of 10 languages studied
Researchers visit native speakers of 10 very different languages on five continents, and discover remarkably similar-sounding words that serve the same essential purpose: mending a broken conversation.
Alzheimer’s patients’ brains boosted by belting out Sound of Music
Scores on cognitive tests given before and after the four months of singing classes showed that mental ability improved among the singers. Those who joined in the singing also fared better at another task that involved drawing the hands on a clock face to show a particular time.
Why pain is expressed differently in different languages
Your pain response may be automatic, but it’s immediately filtered through your language before you even finish saying it. Learned language is quick and pervasive. We even scream with our own accents.
From Dickens to Perry: The art of speaking eloquently (08:26)
Most of us love to come up with a beautifully-crafted phrase from time to time, but few of us succeed … Key elements include the AABA pattern (also known as diacope) which is very common: “Romeo, Romeo, wherefore art thou Romeo.”
Scottish boy surprises parents with fluent backwards speech (4:37)
A ten-year-old Scottish boy has discovered an amazing ability to speak English backwards fluently. Cameron Bissett reels off words in reverse with the same fluency that most people speak normal English.
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