Language and words in the news – 26th August, 2011

Language and words in the newsThis post contains a weekly 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 and language change. Please contact us if you would like to submit a link for us to include.

Global English

Iraqi aircraft maintainers learn English
The Iraqis advanced quicker than any of the instructors expected. Though they still use a translator at times, English is now the primary language spoken during class.

The Pentagon’s foreign language frustrations
As Defense Secretary Leon Panetta told 2,500 troops Tuesday about the foreign-language skills he championed as a congressman, an active-duty Army officer was complaining about the paucity of military personnel who can speak anything other than English.

English learning drive ineffective in state
GUJARAT: Many may not be aware that the state government had once embarked on an ambitious English teaching drive for colleges across the state.

Latino voters respond more to English ads
English-language print ads have a greater impact in mobilizing Latino voters than Spanish-language print ads, U.S. researchers found.

Language Change and Slang

Which words should be thrown out of the English language?
While I think the English language can do without “succedaneum” or “woolfell”, and words always come and go, what has been tragic is the way that some other words have been zombified.

Digital shift is killing Japan’s best English books
This year, new English-language books from Japan will slow to a trickle now that two of the more popular publishers, Kodansha International and TokyoPop, have closed their doors.

Improve your English

Words that have different meanings in British and American English

Why is English such a difficult, funny Language? Homonyms
The bandage was wound around the wound…

Books, words, science and the history of the English language

Funny English Errors
a new book of unconsciously humorous uses – and misuses – of English.
‘In preparation for the channel crossing Caesar built 18 new vesuls vessils vesles botes.’

Dictionary detectives track origins of Old English
University of Toronto scholars are meticulously documenting a version of the English language that is no longer living.

Loanwords: Major periods of borrowing in the history of English
If a little too academic for bank holiday weekend reading, just scroll down to peruse the words borrowed from the different periods.

The Norman conquest of the English language
At first the English withstood the Norman attack of 1066. But soon they succumbed to the invaders, as did their virile language of record.

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Laine Redpath Cole

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