language and words in the news

Week in review: 24 July, 2009

© Scott Maxwell / 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. Please contact us if you would like to submit a link for us to include.


Stockholm reported for using too much English.

Unraveling how children become bilingual so easily.

Slovaks defiant over language law.
Slovakia has dismissed protests by neighbouring Hungary over a new language law which would impose fines for using minority languages.

Unpublished C.S. Lewis manuscript discovered.
In the opening sentence, Lewis states that he is writing a book about the nature and origins of language.

Choose your headline:
Monkeys recognise ‘bad grammar‘.
Monkeys recognise changes in their auditory environment.

Blogs and columnists

A virtual game to teach children languages.
The star video game developer behind Age of Empires has turned his gaming talents to something new: teaching children languages.

Verbing up in the trademark business.
It’s common practice in the trademark world to never, never, never use your trademarked name as a verb or a noun.

Icons aren’t what they used to be.
This is just another case of hyperventilating journalists hijacking an otherwise admirable language because they are desperate to insert an infectious banality into their work and don’t care if it belongs there.

Shakespeare’s storm.
The Tempest: though scholars have squabbled over its exact source, there is general agreement that it is based on the hurricane that caused the wreck of the ship Sea Venture on Bermuda in 1609.

New words for a new economy.

Study calls for new approach to teaching English as a lingua franca.
It is suggested that the emphasis on ‘correct’ pronunciation of English should be discontinued in favour mutual intelligibility among non-native speakers, as well as celebrating the national identity of non-native speakers.

German language adds 5,000 words.
Around 5,000 new words have been officially added to the German language – many of them from the English-speaking world.

Five of the most commonly misspelled expressions in the English language.

18 great sites to learn a new language.

Video: Busting the Mehrabian myth.

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Jonathan Cole

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