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.
Are You an Anglocreep?
Why say “good job!” when you can say, for instance, “brilliant”? Why say “how nice” when you can say “lovely”?
English where she is spoke
The Economist‘s Johnson blog reports on a fascinating global survey of English-language skills by EF Education First.
Obama’s “is is”
As the American presidential election reaches its climax, attention in some quarters has focused on President Obama’s alleged addiction to the reduplicative copula.
Mystery In Sky Over North Carolina; Holiday for the Dead
Voice of America’s Learning English site marks the Halloween season with pieces on spooky lights in North Carolina and the Day of the Dead.
Why Is There an Apostrophe in “Hallowe’en”?
One early spelling of “Halloween” was “all hallows’ even,” in which even meant “evening.”
Books, dictionaries, science and languages
Old books hide even older secrets from Middle Ages
It looks like a prop from a fantasy film. It’s actually a Latin dictionary, published in the early 1700s.
Soda vs. Pop: Twitter Is Pretty Good at Linguistics
Looking to solve the great soda versus pop debate, data scientist Edwin Chen went to Twitter for some data points and his results are pretty consistent with actual linguistic data on the topic.
Just for fun
The world’s worst typos – in pictures
A new book details the crime de la creme of typographical errors. Here are some of the finest.