language and words in the news

Week in review

© Ioannis Kounadeas / 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.


Immigrant women take action for language access.
‘More than 150 languages are currently spoken in New York City alone.’

Are we ready to say bye to books?
More on the new Kindle DX.

While immigrants in Illionois (USA) are struggling to find English learning opportunities, the citizens of Oklahoma (USA) will have the opportunity to make English the official language of their state government.

U.K. chef is ‘sorry’ after language rap.

Mind your language, Amartya Sen tells Mulayam Singh Yadav.
‘Now, one way of excluding people from doing English is to keep the division between the English-speaking haves and the non-English speaking have-nots.’

Blogs and columnists

Golf’s colorful language goes with any green.
‘… most of the terms (in golf linguistics) deal with making fun of your partners’ shots.’

Beyond logic: language and discourse.
Don’t be put off by the opening quotes – three interesting anecdotal pieces here.
‘… those persons of Chinese ethnicity raised in and around British school systems (and more likely to listen to the BBC than to VOA) were predisposed to public praise of the “Queen’s English.” And yet privately they betrayed a preference for the American superpower style of the English language.’

Liberal arts? Think again
Out of work with an English degree. On a positive note, the article has an interesting list of the degrees most requested by U.S. employers in 2009.

Euphemisms, clichés abound in today’s discourse.
‘Another of my cherished clichés, which is becoming increasingly popular, is shovel-ready.’

One of the toughest job-interview questions ever.
At least two interesting statements made in this post: there is no such thing as a representative sample of the English language, and ‘look, the English language only has a million words.’

The etymology of food, part I: Why nothing rhymes with orange.


There are some new Google search options (also explained in video media clip).


Wikipedia as a screensaver.

USA Networks launches Letter Matrix iPhone game.

Eddie Izzard and the history of the English language.

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Jonathan Cole


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