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Language and words in the news – 2nd March, 2012

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.

Language change and slang

I’m fulsomely disinterested and nonplussed
If an editor gives me fulsome praise should I be disinterested or nonplussed? It totally depends on the meaning I ascribe to the three words.

Girl talk: new study suggests teenage girls drive linguistic evolution
It takes a while, but the truth may be as cruel as this: you, Mr Highfallutin CEO, talk like a teenage girl in Los Angeles circa the 80s.

Global English

‘The Jersey Shore’ and Jersey accents
Many New Jersey residents take offense to ‘The Jersey Shore,’ particularly as it passes off young New Yorkers as representatives of Jersey culture.  And much of this, I believe, is a matter of speech.

Language teaching and resources

Six ways to exploit the Oscars in class
This archived article has some great ideas for using the Oscars as a basis for teaching.

Books, words, languages, and science

How many neurons make a human brain? Billions fewer than we thought
How many neurons are there in the human brain? It was a question scientists thought they had nailed…

A toast to National Grammar Day
Raise your grammartinis high and do the semicolon stomp this March 4 in honor of grammar.

Language diversity around the world
Monolingual countries are hard to find. This chart measures language diversity in two different ways.


A murmuration of starlings
English has many strange and poetic terms for referring to groups of birds: an exaltation of larks, a murder of crows, and so on. In the winter starlings gather in great flocks called murmurations.

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Liz Potter

Liz Potter

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