language and words in the news

Week in review

© Volodymyr Vasylkiv / Fotolia.comThis post contains a weekly selection of links related to English language today. These can be items from the latest news, blog posts or interesting related websites. A new weekly review post will be posted every Friday. Please contact us if you would like to submit a link for us to include.


‘It was my daughter who made me accept Poet’s job.’
A gay Scottish mother has broken the mould of Poet Laureate forever.

13 high schoolers reading millions of words.

Pandemic primer: The P word means broad spread, not necessarily bad disease.

Newspaper champions vs. new media.
‘But the fundamental problem … is that readers are increasingly getting their news from the web, where advertising revenues have not remotely reached the level needed to support in-depth beat reporting and investigative work’.

The new Kindle DX.

Amazon Kindle will soon be able to offer “every book ever printed, in any language, all available in less than 60 seconds”’.

Kindle DX images from the presentation in New York.

One millionth English word could be ‘defriend’ or ‘noob’.

Baby twins ‘talk’ with simple sign language.

UK: English as a second language for almost 900,000 pupils.

USA: African immigrants spend more hours watching English language media than African language media, most probably due to availability of in-language options (marketing oriented report).

Blogs and columnists

What should we call digital reading?

Do all the published dictionaries of English get the part-of-speech information wrong for the majority of the prepositions, the majority of the purported subordination conjunctions, and a whole slew of alleged adverbs? You can find out tonight (8th May) if you are in London.

Can we please ban ‘LOL’?

Technology and books: Is the novel too much for our technology-addled brains?

Seeking to save the planet, with a thesaurus.
The problem with global warming, some environmentalists believe, is “global warming”… the term turns people off.

An invention that could change the internet for ever. The internet’s Holy Grail? A global store of information that understands and responds to ordinary language in the same way a person does. Also related, is Googlespeak killing creativity?

Caution! Merge Ahead: How two words become one.

What Is Twitter About in One Word?

Unusual suspects. Are dated catch phrases really a communication problem?


The longest words in English.

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Jonathan Cole

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