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Language and words in the news – 4th December, 2015

© 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.

Language change and slang

Canadian tech unicorns are called “narwhals”
Canada’s tired of being overlooked. It, too, has a robust tech scene, and it wants some recognition. And unlike unicorns, narwhals, a type of toothed whales, actually exist.

Why ‘Cool’ Is Still Cool
What leads some phrases to become more successful than others? Why do some survive the test of time while others die out?

Global English

British desserts, explained for Americans confused by the Great British Baking Show
As Americans wake up to the wonders of The Great British Baking Show, they’re also realizing something else: Nobody on this side of the Atlantic Ocean really knows what any of these desserts are.

Improve your English

“A” vs. “an”
Let’s talk about unicorns. If a word that starts with a vowel takes “an,” why do we say, “a unicorn?”


The Distribution of English Letters in Words
This graphic shows what every Scrabble player and crossword fan knows intuitively: that different letters show preferences for different positions in English words.

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Liz Potter

Liz Potter

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