Language and words in the news – 19th April, 2013

Posted by on April 19, 2013

© 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.

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Global English

Code-switching: How black to be?
Language is a proxy for identity, and so code-switching is an apt metaphor for handling more than one identity.

The 10 best words the internet has given English
From hashtags to LOLs to Cupertinos and Scunthorpe problems, Tom Chatfield picks the most interesting neologisms drawn from the digital world.

Language change and slang

Even Dictionaries Grapple With Getting ‘Marriage’ Right
Words tend to pick up the flavors of the broth they’ve been steeping in: They’re surrounded by customs and prescriptions that seem to infuse their very meanings. When I hear somebody using a word in a new way, it can sound more like a usage error than a challenge to my unexamined notions.

I Apologize for Inventing the Word ‘Fashionista’ 20 Years Ago
Twenty years ago, I apparently changed language forever. I published a book that unleashed upon an unsuspecting public a single word of terrifying power and controversy. That word is “fashionista.”

Books, science, dictionaries, words and languages

Larousse dictionary accused of trying to have final word on gay marriage
“We evolve definitions under the law but also according to usage,” said a spokesman. “For us it is the use of the word that determines if one accepts or not to incorporate it into our dictionaries.”

Exhibit of Biblical proportions at Lacock Abbey
The sheepskin dictionary of Biblical terms, used by Lacock’s nuns, has been kept hidden from view for more than 700 years.

Video

Is handwriting still important? The digital generation skips penmanship (3:12)
As interactive technology becomes ubiquitous around the globe, some experts warn that formal handwriting may soon diminish, rendering the penmanship a relic of the past.

Language resources

Cartoon: Margaret Thatcher’s Blue Plaque
A blue plaque is a permanent sign installed in a public place to commemorate a link between that location and a famous person or event, serving as an historical marker.

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