Language and words in the news – 20th January, 2012

Posted by on January 20, 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

When Words Are Neighbors
A word’s neighborhood affects not only the ease with which it is said, but also, according to researchers … the manner in which we produce it.

Language change and slang

Facebook’s Big Announcement
Rumor has it that the social network will be launching more apps based on the Open Graph and Gestures – that is, apps that let you “verb” any “noun” (read a book, hike a trail, ride a bike and so on.)

Totes Cray-Cray Abbrevs
Elizabeth observes …: Honestly, I feel like young people have always used slang words that “the olds” don’t really get and feel are a bastardization of the language. Would the tone of this list be any different if it was written in the 1960s about young people saying chick, bummed out, groovy or “cool?”

Language teaching and resources

Debate: Are you a teacher of the future?
English language teachers are often portrayed as being rather backwards when it comes to teaching and technology. I think that is true to an extent. With a few exceptions, the majority of language teaching isn’t exactly on the cutting edge of technology.

Infographic: The Big Mac Index
Coined ‘Burgernomics,’ the Big Mac Index has become a global standard of determining purchasing power between two currencies by comparing the cost of the McDonald’s burger in any two countries.

Books, words, dictionaries, science and the history of language

Leave Los Niños Alone! The Mental Costs of Linguistic Assimilation
… Aside from the most obvious advantage of wielding more than one language, there’s now a booming scientific literature suggesting that bilingualism is a bracing tonic for the brain.

Cognitive scientists develop new take on old problem: why human language has so many words with multiple meanings
“Ambiguity is only good for us [as humans] because we have these really sophisticated cognitive mechanisms for disambiguating,” he says. “It’s really difficult to work out the details of what those are, or even some sort of approximation that you could get a computer to use.”

Funny

Oxford police ‘lost for words’ by violence at underground ‘scrabble’ evenings
While some feel it simply a contemporary version of the early sport of scrabbling … full-contact lexicography seethes with a viciousness that makes this small basement under the Bodleian Library seem a world apart from the dreaming spires of Oxford only metres away.

Just went past a certain bookshop

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Comments (2)
  • […] aka Not Every Client is Right For You Why a niche for translation business is absolute necessity Language and words in the news – 20th January, 2012 New freeware for tracking editor’s corrections Why the “4-Eyes Principle” Does […]

    Posted by Weekly favorites (Jan 16-22) | Adventures in Freelance Translation on 23rd January, 2012
  • I think that it’s good to use technology in the class, though teachers risk becoming TOO dependent on it. And then if it breaks or doesn’t work, they’re left standing there.

    Posted by Sharon on 24th January, 2012
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