Language and words in the news – 4th October, 2013

Posted by on October 04, 2013

© 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

Program clash confuses Canberra
… English used ”program” for hundreds of years – it appears in Shakespeare’s works – and only switched en masse to ”programme” in the 19th century. When Kevin Rudd came to power in 2007, he reversed the move. The government’s latest style manual makes no explicit ruling on the spelling, though it refers to ”program” throughout.

When is a rule not a rule?
Some people seem to think love for language means memorising the longest possible list of grammar rules and style shibboleths. … But a real understanding of language acknowledges which rules are truly ironclad, which ones are in dispute and which ones are mere style choices.

Language change and slang

“Problem” (n.) May Be Dropped from Dictionary
… business and the armed forces, as well as the government agencies and virtually all academic institutions, have quietly done away with the word problem and all its synonyms. In it’s place they now use challenge or issue.

6 quests to fix English’s messed-up spelling
… there have been quite a few attempts at reforming English spelling. Some of them have even been at least partially successful. Unfortunately, some of them have just made things worse. Here’s a look at a few historical reformers and the effects they had.

Improve your English

Crossword: British Slang
Improve your knowledge of British slang with this crossword. It’s ace!
Downloadable PDF version with solution and online version available.

Infographic

Teaching English as a Second Language
Infographic including data about the world’s native languages, English spoken as a first language, EFL & ESL, a list of things to conside before you decide to teach English, and more.

Books, science, dictionaries, words and languages

When diseases have a bad name, change is hard
Medical conditions, viruses and even personality quirks have long been named after places, famous athletes, pioneering doctors and literary giants.
… Naming conditions after geographic places has created memorable descriptors — but which tend to offend.

Fun

#banksyny: Better in than Out
Westside

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