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.
20 Words We Owe to William Shakespeare
Endlessly imaginative and not overly concerned with grammatical convention, Shakespeare’s scripts contain over 2200 never-before-seen words … many of which have entered into everyday language. Here are 20 examples of words we can thank Shakespeare for.
Video: Insults by Shakespeare (6:24)
By taking a closer look at Shakespeare’s words – specifically his insults – we see why he is known as a master playwright whose works transcend time and appeal to audiences all over the world.
10 of the worst examples of management-speak
Bureaucratese is a maddeningly viral kind of Unspeak engineered to deflect blame, complicate simple ideas, obscure problems, and perpetuate power relations.
English as a lingua franca (ELF)
Something in common: should English be the official language of the EU?
“Imposing English as the official language of Europe would be profoundly undemocratic,” said Diego Marani … The total cost of EU language work, according to Marani, works out at roughly the cost of two coffees each person each year: a small price to pay for a bit more democracy.
Check out our own ongoing series discussing the dominance of English and ELF.
Slash: Not Just a Punctuation Mark Anymore
The emergence of a new conjunction/conjunctive adverb (let alone one stemming from a punctuation mark) is like a rare-bird sighting in the world of linguistics: an innovation in the slang of young people embedding itself as a function word in the language.
How to teach English – infographic
Kaplan International surveyed more than 500 ESL teachers from 40 countries to discover what tools they use to enhance their lessons. We found that 86% of ESL Teachers have used music in class, The Beatles being the most popular band (used by 40% of those surveyed).
Touchscreen typists urged to abandon qwerty keyboard for KALQ
Smartphone and tablet typists are being urged to abandon the qwerty keyboard layout for a new design it’s claimed will make them more than a third faster.
Books, science, dictionaries, words and languages
European Parliament Terminology Coordination Unit: Interview with Kerry Maxwell
“Because electronic dictionaries can be so easily updated, lexicographers now have the luxury of being less picky. They can present an ongoing snapshot of language in use, weeding out any words which turn out to be ephemeral or obsolete, and regularly admitting any new kids on the block.”
For Kerry’s BuzzWord articles on Macmillan Dictionary, see the complete archive.
John McWhorter: Txtng is killing language. JK!!! (13:48)
Does texting mean the death of good writing skills? John McWhorter posits that there’s much more to texting – linguistically, culturally – than it seems, and it’s all good news.
A couple more articles on the same topic this week:
Texting Isn’t Writing, It’s Fingered Speech
Texting as a “miraculous thing”: 6 ways our generation is redefining communication
Meme of the week
This week’s seen the birth of a new meme and possibly a new word too: baby-mugging. Or will it be only a flash in a
Baby Mugging (#babeinamug) is Officially a Thing
When I started Baby Mugging on Tuesday, I had no idea it would become A THING. Well, now all you have to do is check the #babeinamug hashtag on instagram to see how quickly baby mugshots have spread.