Language and words in the news – 15 January, 2010

Posted by on January 15, 2010

© Junaid Khalid / FotoliaThis 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

10 hot words for 2010.
The Italian language is highly permeable, as you can tell from the press and the other media. Indeed, owing to ongoing linguistic infiltration, it has become something of a hybrid tongue.

Horrible English in storybooks for kids not helping S’pore’s standard of English.
This bilingual storybook is written in such horrible, error-filled English that STOMPer oojuzmeoo shudders at the thought of children reading it.

Speak South African English in 2010.
The ABC of South African English.

Learning English in Afghanistan.
Here in Afghanistan we are dependent on the availability of part-time native speaker IELTS examiners who run the oral interview component. Right now, we are fortunate to have two examiners which means we can offer IELTS again in March.

Language Change and Slang

Language as a blunt tool of the Digital Age.
Of course, anxiety about language is very old. When technologies turn, when new social groups rise, when politics change, critics predict the end of literacy.

Think outside the box, dude.
Rosenbaum draws our attention to the hidden agendas embedded in today’s idioms.

The teens who can barely talk – they only have an 800 word vocabulary.
The majority of teenagers should have developed a broad vocabulary of 40,000 words by the time they reach 16.

Avatards.
Fervent fans of James Cameron’s movie “Avatar.”

Don’t call me a ‘sewist
I’ve been called a lot of things in my time, but the one thing I don’t want to be called is a “sewist.”

The year that was.
Squelette, yarnbombing, and other vocabulary to remember 2009.

‘Google’ is officially word of the decade.

Things people say that I hate

In a moment, for a moment.
DANA: On the plane when they say “We’ll be landing momentarily,” I call over a flight attendant, and I tell them, “if we land momentarily, it won’t give the passengers enough time to get off the plane.”
JEREMY: And once safely inside the airport, how long do they usually detain you for questioning?
DANA: Well, they know me by now.

Books, words, science and the history of language

Monosyllables: a few good short words.
Short words are best and the old words when short are best of all.

Detecting errors.
When proof-reading it can sometimes be an advantage to be a non-native speaker of the language in which the document in question is written.

The perils of ‘contact me’.
“I get a handful of jailhouse marriage proposals every time I publish a book,” said Mary Karr, the author, most recently, of “Lit.” “Does Cormac McCarthy get this? What is it about me and convicted felons?”

Research to find effects on brain of bilingualism.
A project at Bangor University aims to explore the benefit of being bilingual.

Deciphering the chatter of monkeys and chimps.
Do apes and monkeys have a secret language that has not yet been decrypted?

Analyzing the “linguistic fingerprints” of authors.

Drunkenness at the LSA
There have been dozens of research publications on intoxicated speech, but most of them have a forensic motivation.

Book review: Wordwatching by Alex Horne.
Thus the scene is set for a Gormanesque challenge-cum-social experiment, as Horne the ‘verbal gardener’ tries to sow his linguistic seeds.

Words With Friends – iPhone App Review
Do you love word games? Do you love being challenged? If you do, then you will love the iPhone app Words With Friends.

Manicure Set

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