Language and words in the news – 17th May, 2013

Posted by on May 17, 2013

© Olga Altunina / FotoliaThis 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

The 10 most scandalous euphemisms
followed by:
20 of your favourite euphemisms

More on grammar
Much discussion of language, particularly on the web, goes nowhere because those involved are very often talking about different things. In considering approaches to language, as in all else, it’s important to be clear what we’re talking about. In particular, the word ‘grammar is bandied around without much thought as to what it might be.

Language change and slang

30 days of BuzzWords
A selection of BuzzWords from Mashables, including big data, synergy, second screen, and many many more…

Language teaching and resources

Are language teachers leading the way with education technology?
There are a plethora of possibilities for enhancing language learning with technology as there are colleagues willing to help from language fora and social media. The stumbling block for many is not having the time to seek out new tools and become familiar with them, as well as the fear of relinquishing control to their pupils who may be more techno-savvy than they are.

Books, science, dictionaries, words and languages

Your Brain Catches Grammar Errors Even When You Don’t Realize It
The brain does all kinds of amazing things while you’re not paying attention (you know, like regularly remind you to breathe). But it’s also engaged in less critical but equally interesting tasks, like correcting the grammar of the person sitting across from you at dinner. A University of Oregon study has logged hard evidence that the brain processes and compensates for errors in grammar and syntax without your being aware of it.

Video

Dictionary of Numbers: browser extension humanizes the numbers on the Web (0:58)
Dictionary of Numbers is a Chrome extension that watches your browsing activity for mentions of large numerical measurements and automatically inserts equivalences in real-world terms that are meant to clarify things. For example, a story about a 300,000 acre forest fire would be annotated to note that this is about the area of LA or Hong Kong; or that 315 million people is about the population of the USA.

Get your dancing shoes on – courtesy of Puma (2:45)
The brand collaborated with some of the most high-profile freestyle dancers from around the world and choreographer Super Dave to invent dance moves for 280 words (see behind the scenes photographs by Alex Hulsey below). The Dance Dictionary also includes a comprehensive inventory of dance moves and their definitions for freestylers.

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