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Language and words in the news – 3rd June, 2016

© Ioannis Kounadeas / Fotolia.comThis 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

Exam board rules on punctuation are wrong, wrong, and wrong
The vexed question of commas, where to use them and where not to, was raised at Hay festival by the linguistics academic David Crystal.

Language change and slang

Do You Even Language, Bro? Understanding Why Nouns Become Verbs
The dicey practice of turning a noun into a verb has long been a square on the language pedant’s bingo game.

Improve your English

Calling a spade a spade (or should that be a trowel?)
Does trowel come from an Anglo-Saxon word meaning “small garden tool that mysteriously vanishes as soon as you set it down after planting something”?

Words, books and language

Manuscript of the first and last chapter of Tess of the d’Urbervilles by Thomas Hardy
Thomas Hardy, born 175 years ago yesterday, struggled to find a publisher for his novel due to the racy nature of the text and had to accept cuts in order to get it published. The British Library’s manuscript copy also shows him changing standard English to dialect.


Roald Dahl Dictionary
Dr Susan Rennie of Glasgow University has compiled a dictionary of words coined by Roald Dahl. How wondercrump!

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Liz Potter

Liz Potter

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