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Language and words in the news – 7th November, 2014

© 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

How the war in Afghanistan shaped the British Army’s slang
Army jargon still carries the legacy of the British empire with it. Soldiers still refer to washing as “dhobi,” derived from the Hindi word for laundry.

The Evolution of Internet Speak
First, let’s define Internet speak: It’s the language of the Internet. It goes beyond keyboard-born acronyms like OMG and LOL.

Global English

The fourth ‘Untranslatables’ month summary
For the fourth year running, blogger Lynne Murphy has compiled a fascinating list of British and American words and phrases that have no equivalent in the other dialect.

From a language point of view, what’s happening in Iraq, Syria, and environs has revived words that have not been common for many years. – See more at: http://www.cjr.org/language_corner/language_corner_063014.php?utm_content=buffer811d0&utm_medium=social&utm_source=twitter.com&utm_campaign=buffer#sthash.WQopCEDs.dpufFrom a language point of view, what’s happening in Iraq, Syria, and environs has revived words that have not been common for many years.From a language point of view, what’s happening in Iraq, Syria, and environs has revived words that have not been common for many years..

Improve your English

Latin lesson: etc. vs. et. al.
How to avoid confusing two confusable terms of Latin origin.

Books, dictionaries, technology, words and language

Um or er: which do you, um, use more in, er, conversation?
A study of speech patterns by socio-linguists at Edinburgh University has found that English speakers increasingly tend to use “um” rather than “er” as the filler of choice.

Professor Pinker and Professor Strunk
The voice on BBC radio was that of Professor Steven Pinker, fluent and engaging as ever. But my blood froze as I listened to what he said.

Alaska’s indigenous languages attain official status
Alaska’s governor has signed a bill to officially recognise the state’s 20 indigenous languages in a symbolic move that gives a nod to tribal efforts to save Native American tongues at risk of dying out.

Why It’s So Hard to Catch Your Own Typos
Frustratingly, typos are usually words you know how to spell, but somehow skimmed over in your rounds of editing. (But are the typos in the article deliberate?)

Why typos and spelling mistakes don’t really matter
Lucy Kellaway of the Financial Times thinks we should bother less about typos anyway.

Scrabble Society Board Member Resigns Over Compound Words
One board member of the Icelandic Scrabble Society has resigned over a disagreement on compound words. He wanted more precise regulation than other board members, as to which compound words should be permitted, and which ones should not.

Video

Wikitongues
Wikitongues is a community effort to give all the world’s people access to all the world’s 7,000 languages, the stories and memories that compose all our cultures.

Fun

Can You Guess The Accent?
It’s harder than you think, they say. It certainly was for me. My score is too embarrassing to repeat.

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