Language and words in the news – 7th December, 2012

Posted by on December 07, 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

McDonald’s wants Macca’s in the Australian Macquarie Dictionary
Pure Profile conducted a survey of 1250 Australians on behalf of McDonald’s and found that 55 per cent preferred Macca’s as their favourite brand of “Australianism” …

The 10 Easiest Foreign Languages For English Speakers To Learn
More and more Brits are finding their first job abroad. But how difficult is it to pick up the language? Anne Merritt reveals the 10 easiest to learn from scratch.

The 10 Most Overused LinkedIn Profile Buzzwords of 2012
The top buzzword varied in some countries. The Swiss are more likely to use the word “analytical” on LinkedIn, Brazilians prefer to use “experimental” and residents of several countries in the Middle East and Asia most commonly describe themselves as “motivated.”

Language change and slang

Why It’s Hard to Replace the ‘Fiscal Cliff’ Metaphor
Writers on economics have been talking since the election about why the “fiscal cliff” metaphor is misleading. Alternative metaphors have been offered like the fiscal hill, fiscal curb, and fiscal showdown … But none of the alternatives has stuck, nor has the fiscal cliff metaphor been abandoned.

Audio: The Origin Of The Term: Fiscal Cliff (with transcript)
“There was a Dallas Morning News editorial in 1975 when New York City was on the verge of bankruptcy. And it was talking about what would happen if New York City went over the fiscal cliff. So it’s been a powerful metaphor for a while now.”

Why Do New Words Survive? 5 Rules
… it’s difficult for a new word to breach the barrier of the established vocabulary. To adapt a biblical comparison, it seems easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a new word to take residence in the permanent vocabulary of a language.

Language teaching and resources

Ideas for English Language Learners: Celebrate the Holidays
This month’s edition of Ideas for E.L.L’s celebrates the holidays — Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, New Year’s, even winter break — but … much of what we suggest below can be taught any time of year.

Books, dictionaries, words and languages

Lies! Murder! Lexicography!
The humdrum life of the lexicographer, patiently documenting what language is rather than decreeing how it should be, doesn’t mean that the dictionary world is devoid of sensational stories.

200-year-long drought may have killed Sumerian language
Because no written accounts explicitly mention drought as the reason for the Sumerian demise, the conclusions rely on indirect clues. But several pieces of archaeological and geological evidence tie the gradual decline of the Sumerian civilization to a drought.

Comments (1)
Leave a Comment
* Required Fields Notify me of follow-up comments via email