Language and words in the news – 25th April, 2014

Posted by on April 25, 2014

© Ioannis Kounadeas / 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

common or garden, garden-variety, bog-standard, regular
Some thoughts on differences between American and British English, from a UK-based American linguist.

‘Literally’ figuratively destroyed by program to remove the word’s misuse
Someone has developed a browser plug-in that replaces the word ‘literally’ with ‘figuratively’. I’m literally gobsmacked.

Books, science, dictionaries, words and language

Happy birthday Will!
As well as being the feast day of England’s patron saint, Wednesday was William Shakespeare’s 450th birthday. Celebrations included a marathon sonnet reading, a compressed performance of the plays on a flight from Gatwick to Verona, numerous articles  and quizes and, of course, fireworks, in the great dramatist’s birthplace.

Cornish to be recognised as a national minority
A millennium after they were subsumed into the English state and 15 years since efforts began to have them formally declared a distinct people, the Cornish are to be recognised as a national minority. The Cornish language, which until 2010 was classified as extinct by UNESCO, is also enjoying a robust revival.

Mountains high enough and rivers wide enough
Why do some places in the world have lots of small languages, and others have fewer, bigger languages? It seems that geography is the answer.

Oxford English Dictionary may go out of print
The world’s most extensive work on the English language, the Oxford English Dictionary, may not appear in print form ever again.

Video

A tour of the British Isles in accents
A lightning tour of the accents of the British Isles from dialect coach Andrew Jack.

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