Language and words in the news – 23rd November, 2012

Posted by on November 23, 2012

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

There’s what’s right, and there’s what’s right
With all this history, it’s no surprise that left-handers have long found the world less than congenial. … But that bias is out of date. Researchers have found left-handedness linked to a variety of traits, some good, some less so, but one quite relevant to this blog: language-learning talent.

Our very own MED Magazine discussed the same subject a while back:
Know your rights – and your lefts
by Jonathan Marks

Language change and slang

Traditional surnames are becoming extinct: farewell to the Footheads and Pauncefoots
… many traditional surnames – some of which date back to the Domesday Book – are becoming extinct. Names such as Mackmain, Bythewood, Foothead and Pauncefoot are among those thought to have died out in Britain, and researchers believe thousands more have vanished.

Language teaching and resources

Teaching English abroad is an increasingly popular choice for struggling graduates
With 52 applications on average for every graduate vacancy, teaching English abroad is fast becoming a serious option for many university leavers.

Dictionaries: Finding their ideal format?
… the points in favor of electronic dictionaries are even more compelling than the case against printed ones. Hyperlinks allow for quick learning about related items. Audio pronunciations beat out transcriptions in obscure formats. Photos and even videos are a snap to include. Blogs and other meta-content enrich the experience.

Improve your English

11 Creative Suffixes That Inspire New Words
Sometimes, however, a coinage is so apt and useful that it does stick. When that happens, we sometimes get more than just one new word; we get a new kind of word ending, one that goes on to a long, productive career in word formation.

Language technology

How Twitter language reveals your gender — or your friends
Twitter is a new world for linguists. …  the new medium is illustrating phenomena that language researchers have never had such easy access to before now.

Books, dictionaries, words and languages

Sweet dreams can spell out improved language skills for youngsters
The researchers presented compelling evidence that language learning patterns for adults can also be found in children as young as seven, as long as they sleep in the 12 hours after they first encounter new words.

This ebook’s a page-turner
…  just as books replaced scrolls, in the newest stage of the computer revolution, ebooks are replacing books. So once again scrolling is out, and page turning, on Kindles and iPads, is back. That’s the moment when Apple decided to take out a patent.

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