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Language and words in the news – 18th July, 2014

© Ioannis Kounadeas / 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

English is not tidy
You go to work with the language you have, not the language you want. 

Observations on “one of the only”
A Google Books search dates “one of the only” to the 1770s, when a traveler reported that “business, and making money, is one of the only employments” of Rotterdam.

Passive aggression
As a guide to good writing, Kellye Crane ranks alongside George Orwell and Stephen King. By which I mean they all make the same mistake.

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

“Fargo” Redux: Dialect Work in TV’s Renaissance
When Fargo was released in 1996, “Minnesota speech” was largely unknown to the majority of the American populace. With a handful of exceptions, the dialect had little representation in popular culture.

Language teaching and resources

Why grammar lessons should be renamed ‘understanding language’
We need to embrace grammar, teach it in context and uphold its importance within the education system. One answer is to call it something else.

Books, science, dictionaries, words and language

20 readers who lost fluency in their language
For many of us, the thought of ever forgetting how to speak our native language would seem preposterous. But for some readers, it became a reality.

Brush up on your French with this Bastille Day flowchart
Ever been caught out by the vous/tu distinction? This might help.

How much paper does one tree produce?
Data from last year indicate that we used a third less paper than when the “paperless” office went into high gear 20 years ago.

Punctuated equilibrium
A battle is being waged over the apostrophe, and the names of two of the online factions—the Apostrophe Protection Society and Kill the Apostrophe—suggest an extremism usually reserved for blood, rather than ink or pixels.

Video

I Hate These Word Crimes
Al ‘Weird Al’ Yankovic’s entertaining video parody of the song ‘Blurred Lines’ has been provoking hilarity along with some unease. I just wish he didn’t use ‘spastic’ as a term of abuse.

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Liz Potter

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