Language and words in the news – 8th July, 2011

Posted by on July 08, 2011

This post contains a selection of links related to recent 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 Google+ guide for punctuation pedants
Google+ is like the cool kid in school, everyone’s talking about it but not everybody is getting to play with it. A lot has been written about Google’s new social platform in the past ten days, but one thing that hasn’t been overly analyzed is its name.

Famous first words
The way in which a sentence begins really matters. Whether it’s the opening line of the Gospel according to St John: “In the beginning was the word …”, or the introduction to a story in this newspaper: “Egypt has opened its border with Gaza …”, those first words are the starting point for the message.

American English vs British English

Making suggestions
The British (and English people, more specifically) are often stereotyped as being very indirect in their style … Americans, on the other hand, are often stereotyped as being very direct–brash or bossy, even.

Double edged sword
My British accent is an asset in the US, or so people tell me. My ‘merican husband swears it lets me get away with things I shouldn’t. I think that most folks here are curious and friendly and I think my accent might inspire more of that. But isn’t curiosity and friendliness the human condition anyway?

Language technology

Microsoft signs deal with Baidu to offer English-language search
Microsoft Corp. has signed a deal with Baidu, China’s leading Internet search engine, to offer its English-language search functions to Chinese users.

Books, words, science and the history of language

English for Advanced Learners: Linguists Examine Obstacles to Native-Like Proficiency in Foreign Language Acquisition
The use of English as a second and foreign language is steadily increasing, and although English and German have common roots, even advanced German learners of English find it difficult to achieve a native-like level of proficiency in English.

Decoding the Language of Autism
Autism has its own language. … But the specialized language of how we talk about autism is actually easier to master than the language — spoken or not — that autistic people themselves use.

Video

The History of English in Ten Minutes Chapter VII (1:21)
The Age of the Dictionary or the definition of a hopeless task

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