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Language and words in the news – 17th October, 2014

© 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.



Language change and slang

Cajuns are fiercely proud of their culture, but they’re divided over the word ‘coonass’
Whatever its origins, coonass isn’t a slur these days to people like Angie Sonnier. “If it was meant being ugly when it first came out, it’s not ugly now,” Sonnier says.

How Social Media is Changing Language
There can be no denying that social media has a significant impact on the ways that we communicate. Its ever-evolving nature leaves our language in a continuous state of alteration and regeneration.

From a language point of view, what’s happening in Iraq, Syria, and environs has revived words that have not been common for many years. – See more at: http://www.cjr.org/language_corner/language_corner_063014.php?utm_content=buffer811d0&utm_medium=social&utm_source=twitter.com&utm_campaign=buffer#sthash.WQopCEDs.dpufFrom a language point of view, what’s happening in Iraq, Syria, and environs has revived words that have not been common for many years.From a language point of view, what’s happening in Iraq, Syria, and environs has revived words that have not been common for many years..

Global English

Can “Y’all” Mean Just One Person?
For over a century, a controversy has been brewing over what might be called the Loch Ness Monster of dialect study: the elusive singular “y’all.” There are a few who claim to have seen it in the wild, and many who denounce such claims as nonsense.

Language teaching and resources

The ELT technology hype cycle
Mike Boyle offers some thoughts on where the technology we use and discuss in ELT would fit on the ‘hype cycle’.

Improve your English

Top 200 Clichés and How to Avoid in Your Writing
Even though you may use clichés in everyday conversations, they shouldn’t be overused — especially in formal writing — if you want to impress, motivate or be taken seriously by your readers or potential customers.

Books, science, words and language

Being bilingual does not make you smarter
The widely held belief that being bilingual makes you smarter is being challenged by psychologists in a newly published paper.

Should You Talk To Your Child In A Different Language?
It’s natural to want the best for one’s child, and also to draw on one’s own childhood in parenting, but what if you speak a second language less fluently, one that you learned as an adult?

My top 10 unfinishable novels
Professor John Sutherland never got to the end of Moby Dick. Which great novels have defeated you?

The Geography of the “Onion” Vocabulary
Examining the history and geography of just one word across languages can reveal fascinating and instructive patterns.

Graphic

Map of the week: 57% of languages do not have gendered pronouns
The map is an interactive available at the World Atlas of Language Structures. Each dot represents one. White dots are languages that do not include gendered pronouns.

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Liz Potter

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