Language and words in the news – 25th February, 2011

Posted by on February 25, 2011

This post contains a selection of links related to recent 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. We’d love to hear from you!

Global English

Use of English language to increase in China
Should that level of English learning continue it is possible that the number of English speakers in China alone could outnumber the those on the rest of the planet.

The Future Tense
What does the future hold for our language? The great British language scholar David Crystal once warned me, “Never predict the future with language.” But it’s in our human nature to at least try.

Why There are Less New York Accents in Movies
So then, why is Boston English more common in films these days? In my mind it’s a result of various talents “making it big.”

Language change and slang

How ‘OK’ took over the world
It crops up in our speech dozens of times every day, although it apparently means little. So how did the word “OK” conquer the world …

I was doored
The verb door packages a description of a whole complex event: someone opens a vehicle door right in the path of a bicyclist, who then runs unavoidably into the door, often to considerable damage to the rider and the bike; or the door hits a passing bicycle as it opens.
(See also a recent addition to the Open Dictionary: SMIDSY)

Improve your English

Five Grammar Myths … And What You Should Do About Them
This article looks at five so-called ‘rules’ that are not actually rules at all. Then it reviews if, and when, you should follow them anyway.

Language teaching and resources

Fun activities for weather vocabulary
As students older than ten are unlikely to be coming across weather words and phrases for the first time, you will need to extend the language that they learn, prove the value of it by tying it in with other language, and choose activities that are original and stimulating.

Language technology

Google debuts Conversation Mode for Google Translate
If you have ever watched or read a work of science fiction, you have probably encountered the automatic translator, a computer system which can translate from one spoken language to another automatically. We’re now closer to this futuristic technology than ever before.

Twitter to Crowdsource Translations
To help make the service available in more languages as quickly as possible, Twitter just launched a new “Translation Center” where users can help translate the product into their own local languages.

Books, words, science and the history of language

Speaking Foreign Languages May Help Protect Your Memory
People who speak more than two languages may lower their risk of developing memory problems, according to a study released …

Infographic

15 Insightful Language & Culture Infographics
“There’s something quite magical about visual information. It’s effortless; it literally pours in.” Infographics help us navigate the otherwise untamed information jungle.

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