Language and words in the news – 21st March, 2014Posted by Kerstin Johnson on March 21, 2014
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.
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Are ‘grammar Nazis’ ruining the English language?
‘We grammarians who study the English language are not all bow-tie-wearing martinets, but we’re also not flaming liberals who think everything should be allowed. There’s a sensible middle ground where you decide what the rules of Standard English are, on the basis of close study of the way that native speakers use the language.’
Adults and Adultery
You don’t have to commit adultery to be an adult, but you do need to have been an adolescent.
Spring has sprung, and so it seems like a great opportunity to take a look at spring vocabulary.
Johnson: Talking past each other
English majors become English teachers. They have spent years learning how to analyse poems, stories, novels and plays—but, in the average case, not a single semester analyzing sentences. This is reflected in schools’ curricula.
Language learning: what motivates us?
What happens in the brain when we try to learn a language can tell us a lot about what drives us to learn it in the first place.
British and American English
Undivided by a Common Language
Many people seem to enjoy getting hot under the collar about Americanisms in Britain or Britishisms in America; but it can’t be the linguistic differences that motivate them.
On Pullum’s ‘Undivided…’
Are the differences exaggerated due to cognitive biases and prejudices? Absolutely. Are we still mostly able to communicate easily? Yes, certainly. But that doesn’t make the differences that are there any less interesting to me.