Language and words in the news – 2nd July, 2010

Posted by on July 02, 2010

This post contains a weekly 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 and language change, and language education too.

Do contact us if you would like to submit a link for us to include. We’d love to hear from you.

Global English – in the world of sport

Can tennis writers tell their eggs from their bagels?
“When you speak to tennis journalists,” Tim Henman once said, “you notice how little they understand. I am embarrassed for them. They know nothing about the game.” It was a scathing critique and the Observer led the case for the defence, arguing that the role of the tennis press is to paint a broad picture rather than display an intimate knowledge of tactics and technique.

With so many nations in WCup what language do referees use?
Thirty referees from 28 countries, including our very own Subkhiddin Mohd Salleh, are officiating at the World Cup in South Africa.
Have you ever wondered what is the language they use to keep all the players, plus the coaches on the sidelines, in check when things get a bit fiery?

Language change and slang

‘Non-moms’ find child-free terminology offensive
Though it may seem like trivial semantics, Stern says the language used by a society is indicative of its values.

On needed words
A guest appearance on BBC Radio 4’s ‘Saturday Live’ last week has initiated a flurry of correspondence, and the only place to focus it seems to be this blog. Once again it is the ludic propensity of language that has grabbed the popular imagination – in the same way that the ‘foreign catch-phrases’ theme (see my last post) has done.

Improve your English

From bitch to beach
It is interesting that the potential confusion can extend into written English. You’d think that even if hearing the difference is difficult, nevertheless seeing it and spelling it would be straightforward.

Books, words, science and the history of language

3D fatigue
Films in 3D are the latest wheeze to get bums on seats in cinemas and 3D-TV is now technically available if you can afford the set and can find something to watch on it. However, a problem has surfaced: eyestrain. Some filmgoers say that viewing movies using special glasses is causing them eye problems, headaches and nausea.

Orangutans at Durrell contribute to dictionary
Experts from St Andrews University spent time at Durrell creating what’s being described as the ape dictionary.

Seeing Languages Differently
How we see the world impacts our use of language and our use of language impacts how we see the world. Cognitive scientists in the vein of Benjamin Whorf regularly investigate the connections to thought and language use, including how visual perception varies across languages.

Video

David Crystal – Texts and Tweets: myths and realities (31 minutes)

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