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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You say cannoli, I say cannolis
When we order cannoli and biscotti, we generally use the same word whether we want one or half a dozen — a cannoli, we say, but most of us feel enough of the plural force that we also say three biscotti.
Voting or polling?
“Voting place” seems to be catching on in official communications from the elections authorities (though Elections Canada still seems to prefer “polling station”). However, in newspapers, the favoured word is still overwhelmingly “polling station”, by a factor of 10 to 1.
Wordplay: Why Australians cherry-pick from American slang
Soccer mums are breeding like rabbits across Australia. Come the season, they drive their kids to sport, yell encouragement from the sidelines, drive them home, wash their gear – then rinse and repeat.
50 super-quick business writing tips
I like no. 28: Write for human beings, not Google. Google isn’t going to buy your product.
Books, dictionaries, words and language
The ‘Beta’ version of the Mapping Metaphor website
Glasgow University’s online, freely-available Metaphor Map of the English Language is due to launch in Spring 2015. Meanwhile here’s an account of the project’s current status.
Moscow metro opens virtual library of Russian classical literature
What a brilliant idea. Transport for London please copy.
The top 10 words invented by writers
I’d have gone for chortle myself, but there are some good ones here.
‘Vape’ is the word of the year
Yes, it’s that time of year again. Lexicographer Jonathon Green is not impressed. (And just by the by, the Independent refers to us as lexiconists. I don’t know where they got that from, but they should stop right now.)
‘Arm’ removed from dictionary to make room for ‘vape’
Here’s a satirical take on the WOTY story. Warning: contains several rude words.
Fun facts about the history and etymology of ‘cocktail’. Plus you learn how to make an old fashioned. Part 1 of 2.
Frosty gets caught picking his nose
Well, what’s a snowman to do at the start of winter?