Language and words in the news – 22nd February, 2014

Posted by on February 22, 2014

© Volodymyr Vasylkiv / 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.

Language change and slang

On not posting since/from last year
David Crystal explains that the difference in the use of from and since is essentially to do with a focus on the end point of the period in question but that normal usage can change in spontaneous speech when two constructions are blended.

Global English

Coming and Going
We don’t say that the iron-ore price came from $10 to $180. The important lesson is that it isn’t logic or common sense that prevents us from saying that. It just isn’t how we use the language, that’s all.

The semi-colon is the best
For those of us whose thoughts digress; for whom unexpected juxtapositions are exhilarating rather than tiresome; who aim, if always inadequately, to convey life’s experience in some semblance of its complexity—for such writers, the semi-colon is invaluable.

What is the best punctuation mark?
Which punctuation mark is the best? Have your say by voting in this poll.

Charles Fillmore

Charles Fillmore, Discoverer of Frame Semantics, Dies in SF at 84: He Figured Out How Framing Works
George Lakoff (best known for his work on metaphor) has written an obituary of his Berkeley colleague Charles Fillmore, who has died aged 84. Fillmore is rightly described by Lakoff as ‘one of the greatest linguists ever’, and his work on Frame Semantics has been hugely influential – not least on the way that lexicographers analyze corpus data to produce dictionaries.

British and American English

Kitchen English
This handy illustrated guide translates some of the most popular herbs and veggies that go by different names in different English speaking countries.

Books, science, dictionaries, words and languages

30 great opening lines in literature
‘All this happened, more or less.’

The 10 Most Devastating Lines in Children’s Literature
‘If you run away, I will run after you.’

Audio

A tour of the British Isles in accents
A dialect coach, Andrew Jack, gives a tour of the accents of the British Isles.

Fun

The ‘Made Up Words’ Project Adorably Illustrates Your Weirdo Vocab
Whether it’s an inside joke, an old phrase your parent’s parents used to say or just something so ridiculous that it stuck, most of us have a story to tell about the weird vocabulary we didn’t learn in school.

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