Language and words in the news – 20th September, 2013

Posted by on September 20, 2013

© Matttilda / 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.

Global English

Language diversity: Just speak English?
… the real reason not to adopt a “mainly English” language policy involves the EU’s promise to its members, under the official motto “united in diversity”. No country joined the union in order to be crushed under a homogenising wheel. Important laws are made at the EU level, and Europeans have a right to be able to understand them.

Keep Your Multilingualism to Yourself
I hadn’t quite appreciated, though, that English is beginning to be so dominant and so much desired that its speakers are being condemned or bullied for having the temerity to even attempt the use of other languages.

Languages can both exist in harmony, claims expert
English and Maltese can co-exist in harmony provided they are both taught properly, according to Adrian Underhill, one of the world’s most respected English Language Training professionals.

Language change and slang

Is Tom Ford’s fashion singular a linguistic boob?
You probably know that if fashion likes a pair of trousers, they cease being trousers and become “a trouser”. But did you know that if fashion likes a pair of breasts, they become just the one: a boob?

Are You a Double-Is-er?   
Most linguists call this doubled is ISIS, although it also appears in the literature as “Double-is,” “Extra-is,” “Double-be,” and—should you prefer—the “Nonstandard Reduplicative Copula.” And while linguists aren’t yet in agreement about what need ISIS fills, or exactly how to classify it among the already Borgesian taxonomy of linguistic categories and subcategories, they have been tracking it for nearly 30 years and developing a number of theories, some of which make intuitive sense to me.

Books, science, dictionaries, words and languages

National Library of Scotland puts tiny books on display
A book no bigger than a grain of rice is part of a new exhibition of miniature books at the National Library of Scotland in Edinburgh.

Man Booker Prize opens arms to U.S. authors and the world
The prize – which has been open only to citizens of the United Kingdom, the Commonwealth or the Republic of Ireland since its launch in 1969 – will from 2014 see competition primarily from U.S. authors, although any author writing in English anywhere on the planet can become eligible.

Infographic

The Online Activity That’s Keeping You Unemployed
Pictures aren’t the only pieces of content that can change an employer’s mind — text is also a major factor. Nearly two-thirds of participating companies said that profanity and spelling and grammar mistakes in statuses and tweets reflected poorly on job applicants.

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