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Language and words in the news – 2nd November 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.

Global English

News Writers: Stop Trying To Scare People With Made-Up Storm Language
Hurricane Sandy wasn’t a “superstorm.” Not because it wasn’t a “super” “storm,” but because “superstorm” is an imaginary scare-term that exists exclusively for shock value.

Language change and slang

Feminism Friday: Sexism, Misogyny and Dictionaries
Since Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard’s speech a few weeks ago, there’s been a lot of debate about what ‘misogyny’ means, usually instigated by those who accuse Gillard of using the term incorrectly.

Mutant Verbs
Like mutants in nature, most newly minted verbs — Mondayize, speechify, Californicate — will live for only a short while and perish without progeny.

Ain’t This Good English?
As words test the invisible barrier between slang and conventional English, newbs like me are forced to wade in against a constant tide of nonstandard English.

Language teaching and resources

Talking about Sandy
This cartoon by Chappatte from the International Herald Tribune makes a connection between the US presidential election campaign, global warming and Hurricane Sandy.

Improve your English

Would of, could of, might of, must of
Unstressed ’ve is phonetically identical (/əv/) to unstressed of: hence the widespread misspellings would of, could of, should of, must of, might of, may of, and ought to of.

Books, dictionaries, science and languages

What You Hear Could Depend On What Your Hands Are Doing
New research links motor skills and perception, specifically as it relates to a second finding — a new understanding of what the left and right brain hemispheres “hear.”

Quaazy, zowpig and splawder – endangered words considered for Scrabble dictionary
Scrabble lovers could soon be racking up double-digit scores with words such as quaazy, zowpig and splawder after games officials ruled more words from Britain’s regions should be featured.

The Dictionary Of Hurricane Sandy
One story dominated the news for much of the week. These posts provide a scientific perspective on the language of the big storm.

Just for fun

40 Things To Say Before You Die
Here’s a new twist on those “things to do before you die” lists.

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Liz Potter

Liz Potter

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