Language and words in the news – 9th March 2012

Posted by on March 09, 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.

Language change and slang

On watching
A correspondent writes to say he has been hearing watch used with reference to new movies in the cinema. He would use see in such a context and wonders what I think.

Hiya pupils, please avoid slang, ta
A secondary school has instructed its pupils to stop using slang words such as hiya, cheers and ta, to enhance their prospects of landing a top job.

Improve your English

He’d’ve preferred a quadruple contraction
But ‘twou’dn’t’ve been easily comprehensible… This blogger is on the hunt for quadruple contractions in English.

You lost me at knickers!
I like to think I’m a fairly easy-going linguist, when I’m off duty. But what does really get my goat is when someone says or writes something that leaves me wondering ‘what on earth do they mean?’

Language teaching and resources

Playing gooseberry
World Wide Words, a runner up in our best website competition, is the first port of call for resolving any perplexities about idiomatic English. This article tells all about the expression playing gooseberry.

Books, words, languages, and science

Is your language making you broke and fat?
How language can shape thinking and behavior (and how it can’t).

Sorry, there’s no such thing as correct grammar
Many people yearn for correctness and this is expressed in the phrase “standard English”. However, this leads many people to imagine that because it is called standard, it is run by rules and that these rules are fixed.

Which is the best language to learn?
Apart from English, of course. You can find out here what one writer thinks and even vote for the most useful language.

Podcast

The story of ain’t
Slate’s podcast about the furore surrounding the publication in 1961 of Webster’s Third Edition is one for real dictionary nerds. [Warning: contains some swearing].

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