Language and words in the news – 19th October 2012

Posted by on October 19, 2012

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. 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 British are coming, again
The BBC followed up with a list of those Britishisms its readers are reporting hearing in (North) America (including Canada) … They’re an interesting mix.

Language change and slang

Australia PM Julia Gillard prompts ‘misogyny’ definition update
No word has been more in the news over the past week than misogyny. Look out for Orin’s post on the subject next week, and meanwhile there is a useful summary of the story here (with a lovely job description for lexicographers thrown in).

Generic man and female airmen
In a follow-up to last week’s post on gender-neutral “guys”, Economist blogger Johnson muses on “the tricky landscape of gendered language”.

I should have went
OK, stop shuddering now. This particular construction seems to be high on the hackle-raising scale.

Language teaching and resources

Tick tock
This film-based lesson about life (and death) is for practising conditionals with intermediate and advanced students.

Improve your English

The Villain in the Villa
Once upon a time, there were Romans who had lovely villas in the countryside and the word is still with us today, even if the villas now tend to be rather suburban things.

Books, dictionaries, and languages

Douglas Adams’s Meaning of Liff redefined
Almost 30 years after Douglas Adams first let us in on The Meaning of Liff in his dictionary of “things that there should be words for but aren’t”, the late author’s friends and family have come together to compile a new volume of “spare words”.

Dictionary Day: Define Weather Moves Into Northeast
It seems October 16th was Dictionary Day – who knew? Warning: only click on this link if you have a high level of tolerance for excruciating puns. Lots of them.

Conversational turns and silences
A lovely post from Stan Carey on conversational turn-taking in life and art.

Podcast

A Chat about Music
Luke Thompson and his brother chat about their musical memories.

Comments (1)
  • Parliamentary language was debated at Westminster this week – here’s a link to former MP Matthew Parris speaking about it on BBC Radio Wales:

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-wales-19974768

    Posted by Libby Jones on 19th October, 2012
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