Language and words in the news – 23rd March, 2013

Posted by on March 23, 2013

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.

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

Washington Post’s Outlook section avoids these words and phrases
Washington Post Outlook section editor Carlos Lozada writes: “After I saw the ‘iconic’ post, I thought you’d enjoy this running list that we keep in Outlook of words and phrases we should avoid. (I just added ‘iconic’ to the list.)”

Language change and slang

An essential guide to Facebook emoticons
Chances are that you’ve seen one or two of these floating around, but I bet you didn’t know that you could add penguins, sharks or even Chris Putnam to your messages, chat and comments.

Getting Soft
The word soft has an extraordinary range of meanings and uses in English – pleasant, unmanly, untested, agreeable are just a few.

Books, science, dictionaries, words and languages

Mathematically Speaking
… math can be thought of as a language filled with vocabulary, symbols, and sentence structures. … For students learning English as their second language, learning the language of mathematics may seem as though they are simultaneously learning yet another language. And like any language, students have to speak math proficiently in order to use it efficiently.

50 Shades of Gray from the First Comprehensive Guide to Color Naming
Robert Ridgway was a famous ornithologist who … saw a need for standardized color naming in ornithology and other sciences that had to classify large quantities of natural specimens, and published a system for identifying and naming 1115 colors in 1912.

Video

Bob’s Daily Buzzword: ‘Bail-In’ (2:15)
Bob Rice, general managing partner with Tangent Capital Partners LLC, explains “Bail-In”.

Humour

Use your words – Bizarro comic (via Language Log)

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