Language and words in the news – 6th April 2012

Posted by on April 06, 2012

This 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

Counting seconds
In America when you are trying to time counting seconds you often say Mississippi in between each number: “One Mississippi, two Mississippi, three Mississippi…” Do they have something like that in England?

Improve your English

Kindly stop, for me!
Kindly, when used as an adverb, is a tricky word for learners of English, but seems to pose a problem for native speakers, too.

Gotta split
The split infinitive goes back in English literature at least to about the 13th century. It’s a natural part of English, which is the reason everyone does it in speech.

Words of faint praise
Something I find endlessly fascinating about our speech are ‘faint praise words.’ These are non-committal congratulations and compliments that, when you think about it, don’t much compliment or congratulate anything.

Language teaching and resources

Possessives
For the most part, present-day English doesn’t mark grammatical cases. However, it does mark case on pronouns.

Books, words, science and dictionaries

Death of a dictionary
Normally, my attitude toward dictionaries is the more the merrier; each does certain things better than others, and it’s good to be able to compare and contrast.

The world’s first multi-tasking computer
This video describes the development of  the Pilot ACE computer, the first multi-tasking computer, based on the designs of Alan Turing.

Poem

Epigram On the First of April
Nature is rising from the dead,/Frost and Scythian snows are fled…

 

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