Language and words in the news – 5th November, 2010

Posted by on November 05, 2010

This post contains a weekly 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 and language change, and language education too.

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

Global English

My bright idea: English is on the up but one day will die out
Although spoken by vast numbers worldwide, the English language is doomed to die out, says a celebrated linguist.

Language change and slang

Creeper! Rando! Sketchball!
Compared with past generations, Eble said, “female students are putting themselves into more dangerous situations than they did in my day,” especially when it comes to dating and partying. Terms like creeper, rando and sketchball come in handy as women deal with men who may try to give them unwanted attention.

Improve your English

Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea
It’s a phrase we use to describe our situation when we’re faced with choices that aren’t really choices at all.  Each option is equally distressing.

Language teaching and resources

The Power of Language and Culture in Our Children’s Education
The value and importance of integrating our children’s languages and cultures into their education deserves greater recognition. This is particularly true in the context of today’s increasing emphasis, locally and nationally, on standardized testing and on students becoming numbers rather than individuals who are part of families and communities.

E is for ELF (and the Phonological Core)
If I have any problem with the notion of the phonological core, it is that – useful as it is to know those features of pronunciation without which ELF communication is at risk – the exclusive focus on a set of discrete phonological features perhaps misrepresents, or under-represents, the notion of intelligibility. Successful communication, after all, is contingent on a great many more factors than simply pronunciation – not least the need and willingness of the communicating parties to communicate!

Andrew Wright’s six things from sixty years
Given that stories are so central to who we are and words are a major component in the way we story experiences then it amazes me that stories are not the main road we all take in language teaching.

Language technology

Why is a universal translator so elusive?
With a global economy and flights that can take you all over the world in hours, why is it that we still struggle with a language barrier that technology is finding hard to break down?

Books, words, science and the history of language

Collecting your thoughts: you can do it in your sleep!
It is one thing to learn a new piece of information, such as a new phone number or a new word, but quite another to get your brain to file it away so it is available when you need it.

Scrabble championship won by colourful Mikki Nicholson
Scrabble’s sleepy reputation has been overturned as a transsexual in a pink wig and matching PVC dress was crowned UK national champion.

Auction record for Johnson’s Dictionary
The re-appearance at auction of a stunning copy in a wholly unrestored original binding at Christie’s on October 27 was always likely to become a defining moment in terms of auction records.

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