Language and words in the news – 24th August 2012

Posted by on August 24, 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.

Language change and slang

Scientist wanted to call it the ‘Goddamn particle’ because it was so elusive
It’s been called the “God particle”. But the Higgs boson has nothing to do with a deity.

“Add it up, it all spells ‘duh’”: the language of Buffy, the Vampire Slayer
There are certain words and phrases that a Buffy fan recognizes instantly. There is, to begin with, the professional jargon of Slayerdom.

Wi-Fi
What does wi-fi mean? Come on, you ought to know. You almost certainly have wi-fi (unless you’re reading this blog from some paleolithic dial-up system). So? Wi-fi?

Improve your English

Physalis
As I wander round the fruit-and-veg aisles in my local supermarket, I know how to pronounce most of the stuff on offer. I know about mooli, I know about kumquats.

Language teaching and resources

The Emancipation of Prince
A lesson for upper-intermediate and advanced students based on a short film about a dog and his ‘owner’.

Books, dictionaries, words and languages

Kannada is ailing
It has speakers, of course—nearly 50m of them, mostly in southwestern India.

F-bombs and aha moments
A well-known US dictionary has added a word that alludes to a well-known swear word. Some people aren’t at all happy.

Dubai passenger found with 250g marijuana in dictionaries
And speaking of impropriety, here’s a use for a dead-tree dictionary that we don’t recommend.

Just for fun

Shakespeare insult kit
Here’s the very thing for those who like to extend their vocabulary of insults beyond the everyday ones.

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