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Language and words in the news – 1st May, 2015

© Ioannis Kounadeas / Fotolia.comThis 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

‘They,’ the Singular Pronoun, Gets Popular
Nearly everyone would find that they can stomach the “they” in this very sentence, agreeing with “nearly everyone.”

Global English

More about House of Cards
Basically, people outside the South have the misconception that all Southerners sound the same.

Improve your English

That Is Not How You Use An Exclamation Mark, Kim Kardashian
Unlike some writers, I am not a die-hard exclam eschewer, but Kardashian West’s dissonant diacritical gives the whole tribe a bad name.

Books, words and language

The world’s languages in 7 maps and charts
Not all continents are equally diverse in the number of spoken languages. Whereas Asia leads the statistics with 2,301 languages, Africa follows closely with 2,138.

Political incorrectness gone mad: the myth of the metropolitan elite
Our Editor-in-Chief branches out with some timely thoughts on the language of political rhetoric.

How Iconic: A Word Is Worth Thousands Of Pictures
The Noun Project is an online database of nearly every noun you can imagine, as well as some verbs.

What Makes Humans Different
Attention is much older than the genus Homo but we have turned it into a liberating power.

Ke garne? The linguistic expression of Nepali resilience
One of the first phrases I learnt in Nepali was के गार्ने ke garne, ‘what to do’?

Politics

With apologies to those of you who are either heartily sick of the forthcoming UK election or completely uninterested in it, here are a couple of linguistic analyses of the things politicians say:

The British talk about cake 50 times as much as the deficit – politicians should cotton on
Tony McEnery and Robbie Love compared the language of the leaders’ TV debate with that used by the rest of us. It won’t surprise you to learn that there are some substantial differences.

Manifestospeak: What can linguistic analysis tell us about politicians and their attitudes?
Meanwhile Patrick Hanks and Sara Može have been crunching the language of the manifestos to find out the hidden meanings behind all those promises.

Visuals

Maurice Sendak’s Little-Known and Lovely Posters Celebrating Books and the Joy of Reading
Gorgeous posters celebrating reading from one of the giants of children’s literature.

What to say when you make a mistake in other languages
Graphic designer James Chapman illustrates what people usually say when making a mistake in other languages.

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Liz Potter

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