Language and words in the news – 8th February, 2013

Posted by on February 08, 2013

© Volodymyr Vasylkiv / 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

The magic words “make them learn English”
The immigrants’ kids always learn English, and speak the heritage language at home. The third generation has a smattering of the heritage language, at best. The fourth: as the Italians in Brooklyn say, fuhgeddaboutit.

Kentucky ‘kicks ass’: Taking pride in plain speaking
There are those who might consider the phrase obscene. But in the United States, the verb to “kick ass” – like the adjective, “kick-ass” – is widely considered appropriate for general conversation.

Language change and slang

Phantom vibration syndrome: Word of the Year
The votes are in and phantom vibration syndrome has taken out Macquarie Dictionary’s 2012 Word of the Year. So what is PVS?

The Most Annoying Business Slang
Strike these 32 insufferable buzzwords, cliches, euphemisms and grammatical catastrophes from your business vocabulary. Better yet, cast your vote in our second annual “Jargon Madness” competition, an NCAA-tourney style bracket pitting the most annoying expressions in head-to-head combat for gobbledygook supremacy.

Books, dictionaries, words and languages

What is your social media personality?
Oversharer? Vaguebooker? Humblebragger?
Find out what social media type you are (and learn a few new words along the way)!

The Illustrated Dictionary of Cyborg Anthropology Explains How We’re All Part Machine
With her new Illustrated Dictionary of Cyborg Anthropology, Amber Case has set out to put words to those experiences — to help introduce terms like “panic architecture,” “ambient awareness,” and “junk sleep” to a wider audience.

Language technology

Grammar police: Vibrating pen warns of handwriting mistakes
A specialized pen under development is designed to catch writing mistakes and vibrate as a warning. Could it revive the dying art of handwriting?

Wozniak on emerging technologies: Natural language recognition, self-driving cars, and conscious computers
When asked about what’s next, Wozniak listed off three things: “voice recognition with an understanding what is really meant by sentences of words and language – natural language recognition,” “we just about have cars driving themselves too,” and “computers approaching consciousness, becoming brains – that’s a lot further off.”

Radio

Technicolour: Colour Naming (15’)
Tracey Logan explores how language changes our colour perception. She meets a Russian to talk about blue and visits the baby lab testing how infants see colour.

Quiz

Grammar and punctuation test
… how good is your knowledge of technical English? Take our quiz for students, teachers and grammar fans

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