Language and words in the news – 4th December, 2010

Posted by on December 03, 2010

This weekly 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.

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

Global English

How the ancient Welsh language helped shape English
From arctic birds to nicknames, the influence of Wales on the English language has been underestimated, says a Celtic Studies expert.

Language change and slang

Frisky
The TSA spawns anger – and a new lexicon
Critical terms for the whole airport screening process aren’t new: The checkpoints have been described for some years as security theater, a term coined … to describe procedures that serve more to create a feeling of increased safety than to reduce real risk. … But the combination of new technology and new intrusions on travelers’ personal space has accelerated the process.

Lexical Obamanations
I can’t think of very many cases of presidential-name blending as a popular activity. There’s Reaganomics, Nixonomics, Clintonomics, and some sporadic coinages with –ology and –olatry.

Improve your English

Words and Phrases That Ticked You Off in 2010
At the start of this year (not on the year), we invited you to update our list of Words and Expressions That Tick You Off. Long story short and not gonna lie, you responded with rancor and enthusiasm. Here’s what you told us.

Cartoon: Carol Singers
Carol singing, or Caroling, is singing  carols (traditional Christmas songs) in the street or public places. It is one of the oldest customs in Great Britain, going back to the Middle Ages when beggars, seeking food, money, or drink, would wander the streets singing holiday songs.

Books, words, science and the history of language

Paper-thin e-readers: Harry Potter magic becomes reality
While the moving pictures in Harry Potter newspapers are magic, a breakthrough in display technology could make paper-thin, disposable e-readers a reality. … University of Cincinnati researchers may soon come up with disposable e-reading devices that, in theory, could perform actions similar to an Amazon Kindle, but on actual paper.

Video

How hip hop changed the English language (1:19)
An exhibition at the British Library explores a range of influences on the English language from Anglo-Saxon runes to modern day hip hop.

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