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.
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The linguistics of LOL
LOLspeak was meant to sound like the twisted language inside a cat’s brain, and has ended up resembling a down-South baby talk with some very strange characteristics.
In defense of ‘anyways’
This is not a bit of backwater American slang. In fact, it’s a word with nearly 1,000 years of history.
Ebola, the word
There’s no mystery about Ebola—the word, that is, not the disease. We know exactly when and how it began, in 1976. But why does it have the stress on the second syllable?
Besides, a dodgy discourse marker
Connectives can be tricky to master. Here’s some advice on how to use one of them.
Books, dictionaries, technology, words and language
How Dylan Thomas got playful with English grammar
To mark the centenary of Dylan Thomas’s birth, Guy Masterson considers the Welsh poet’s original way with the English language.
MotionSavvy Is A Tablet App That Understands Sign Language
A Californian tech company is building a tablet case that can translate American Sign Language into English and vice versa.
Single Quotes or Double Quotes? It’s Really Quite Simple
Call me unobservant, but until I read this I hadn’t realised that UK and US practice is exactly opposite. Or that the subject aroused such strong passions.
The Twelve Stages to Learning a Foreign Language
A lighthearted take on the pains and pleasures of language learning.
The Omnificent English Dictionary In Limerick Form
Possibly the most quixotic lexicographic project ever, this team seeks to collect at least one limerick for each meaning of each and every word in the English language. They expect to finish in 2043.
British parrot missing for four years returns speaking Spanish
A pet parrot that spoke with a British accent when it disappeared from its home four years ago has been reunited with its owner – and the bird now speaks Spanish.
Old world language families
Useful and beautiful map of Indo-European languages: William Morris would be thrilled.