Language and words in the news – 20th May, 2011

Posted by on May 20, 2011

After a short break, Macmillan Dictionary Blog brings you again the latest round of news on language and words from around the globe. These can be items from the news, blog posts or interesting websites related to global English, language change, education, and language learning and teaching.

Contact us if you would like to submit a link, or just add a comment to the post, with the link(s) you’d like to share.

Global English

Government, businesses seek to further spoken English in Turkey
Spoken English skills are fairly poor in Turkey in comparison to other non-English speaking nations, and the growing need for Turks to develop their spoken English has been acknowledged by the government and the business world alike.

UK exporters face ecommerce language barrier
Companies that don’t translate their websites could be missing out on much of the European market, an EU-wide survey suggests, despite English being Europe’s favoured online language.

Amirite?
There’s no end of advice about how to avoid miscommunication: Keep things simple. Take your time. Be aware of cultural differences. But missing from all these communication-helper lists is a little linguistic tic that most people use every day: the tag question.

Language change and slang

Loving The English Language, Or Loving To Complain About It?
Everyone has a language peeve. Mine is “literally,” a great word with no close synonym. When used as a mere intensifier or to mean simply “It felt as though …” it has almost no kick at all. And when misused, it can be spectacular.

Improve your English

Daily English Phrases (Business)
Learn advanced English that you can use in the real world, not just on a test. Each phrase is natural, useful, and easy to remember.

How to be an outstanding communicator
The message from recruitment agencies, employer surveys and the like is familiar, loud and clear: you must be an outstanding communicator if you want to get to the top of your profession.

Books, words, science and the history of language

Persuasive Speech: The Way We, Um, Talk Sways Our Listeners
People who engage in frequent short pauses may be more successful in convincing others than those who are perfectly fluent.

Picture dictionaries keep language alive
Indigenousl anguage and culture are being salvaged by picture dictionaries.

Video

Ron Gutman: The hidden power of smiling
Ron Gutman reviews a raft of studies about smiling, and reveals some surprising results, e.g.: smile + frown = smile or that “British researchers found that one smile can generate the same level of brain stimulation as up to 2,000 bars of chocolate”. Watch the video for more! 🙂

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