Language and words in the news – 21st October, 2011

Posted by on October 21, 2011

This post contains a selection of links related to recent 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

European language standards to spread through Middle East with Dubai conference
More than 500 language educators and specialists will attend a landmark conference on October 20 & 21 in Dubai, which will examine the expanding global use of European language standards for measuring language ability.

Competition comes to IELTS
Test providers in competition with the International English Language Testing System are about to gain entry to the student visa market [in Australia].

G for ‘guilty’? Lost letter spells trouble at world Scrabble contest
Showdown ends with demand for British player to be strip-searched after tile mysteriously vanishes.

Language change and slang

Another dubious portmanteau
To add to the previous crop of dubious portmanteaus, I offer blogumn ‘blog column’ … I’m not convinced of the utility of the word, though possibly some people see a distinction between postings (or posts) that are columns and those that aren’t.

Language technology

Google Tweaks Android Translation Tool
Google has improved Translate for Android’s Conversation Mode as competition heats up with Apple’s Siri.

Names in the News: Siri
Siri isn’t exactly new, and it wasn’t developed by Apple. As an app – also called Siri – it’s been available to iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch users for about 18 months. But the technology has evolved since 2010, when Apple acquired the company that created it: Siri, Inc.

Infographic

A Visual Guide to the Ampersand
The ampersand symbol (&) has a long and rich history, dating as far back as 63 B.C. To this day, its use can be witnessed in a wide range of situations, from being a key component in a Fortune 500 company’s logo/brand identity materials to casual SMS/text messages between old friends.

Video

Word as Image (2:55)
This brilliant video is based on the work of Ji Lee … The challenge was to create images from words, using only the letters contained in the word itself – and using only the shapes of the letters, without adding extra parts.

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