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Language and words in the news – 30th January, 2015

© Ioannis Kounadeas / FotoliaThis 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

‘This.’ Has People Clamoring for an Invite
“This” is now more than a pronoun. In the online realm of social media, “this” is a statement, a proclamation, a call to action.

Global English

How many Canadian slang words do you know?
What do you call a coffee with 2 creams and 2 sugars at Tim Hortons? For that matter, what’s Tim Hortons? If you know the answer to the second question you may do rather well on this quiz.

Wine in Australian English
Australia produces many fine wines; however, many of the wine-related terms in the lexicon relate to cheap and inferior wine, as the examples below illustrate.

Language teaching and resources

Still cutting up cards! Activities for storing and retrieving chunks
Here are some suggestions on low-tech ways to help students learn and retain useful chunks of language.

From a language point of view, what’s happening in Iraq, Syria, and environs has revived words that have not been common for many years. – See more at: http://www.cjr.org/language_corner/language_corner_063014.php?utm_content=buffer811d0&utm_medium=social&utm_source=twitter.com&utm_campaign=buffer#sthash.WQopCEDs.dpufFrom a language point of view, what’s happening in Iraq, Syria, and environs has revived words that have not been common for many years.From a language point of view, what’s happening in Iraq, Syria, and environs has revived words that have not been common for many years..

Books, dictionaries, words and language

Octopus, octopi… octopodem? A guide to humiliating grammar nerds with Latin inflections
“I saw the geniuses’ octopuses,” says person one. “No, you saw the genii’s octopi!” retorts person two. “Ha! Wrong again!” says person three. “It’s octopodes, not octopi!” You know people like this. Maybe you are a person like this.

Webster’s After Webster, Part Two: Etymology
Believing that “the radical words in the principal languages of Asia, Africa, and Europe are still the same,” [Noah Webster] sought phonetic resemblances among some twenty languages, hoping to link them to “Chaldee,” his name for the Aramaic language he believed was spoken by Adam and Eve.

Are lost languages coming back?
“Vel oo geearree jough?” says Adrian Cain to his four-year-old son Orry who has stumbled into the kitchen in search of breakfast. “Moghrey mie,” replies Orry. “Kys t’ou?”

What the World Will Speak in 2115
A century from now, expect fewer but simpler languages on every continent.

À La Carte
What a Stanford linguist found when he ate in a London pub.

Graphic

Number of books published per year per capita by country in Europe
Can you guess which country just pips the UK to the post? Some of these numbers may surprise you.

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