Language and words in the news – 20 November, 2009

Posted by on November 20, 2009

© Matttilda / Fotolia.comThis 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

Steve Cameron: Language problem isn’t really a problem.
I’m kind of caught between languages, and I suspect only time will cause the “bit of Brit” to fade away.

Good English.
This perpetual argument between the pro-Singlish & anti-Singlish seems to be neverending.

India English growth ‘too slow’.
The study says China may now have more people who speak English than India.

The role of English in India.
One danger of pushing through the English language agenda is that of lack of infrastructure in place.

Language change and slang

Global warming, 9/11, Obama top words of the decade.
Concerns over the environment and terrorism have not only affected how people lived in the past decade but also their language.

War of the words.
The demands of the market compel young people to turn to functional English in a mechanical manner bereft of imaginative and experiential depth, vitality and utterly devoid of a historical/political consciousness.

Dad teaches his son Klingon instead of English.
Linguist d’Armon Speers decided to teach his son nothing but Klingon for the first three years of his son’s life.

Fuggedaboutit—Alpha male linguistics.
Psycholinguistic research reveals that we choose our gratitude acknowledgements pragmatically, proving that such language isn’t phatic (devoid of content) after all.

Unfriend: Oxford USA’s Word of the Year for 2009.
The season of dubious annual honors is upon us, and blogs will soon be clogged with top-ten lists of the best and worst of the year.

Improve your English

Five punctuation errors exploded.
I’m a bit of a Word Nerd and Punctuation Prude (but not a Grammar Granny).

Things people say that I hate

Plagiarists ‘like drug cheats’.
A doyen of New Zealand literature has compared plagiarism to drug cheating in sport because of the unfair advantage it gives over contemporaries.

Books, words, science and the history of language

Changing My Mind: Occasional Essays by Zadie Smith.
Reading for Smith is a mind-changing, life-giving, soul-saving affair and her criticism has a missionary urgency.

Non-fiction review roundup.
Steven Poole on Filthy English | Damp Squid | Spilling the Beans on the Cat’s Pyjamas

Anguished English: an anthology of accidental assaults upon our language.
A fabulous collection of linguistic goofs and mixed-up metaphors that have done everything from rewriting history to announcing the ability of a soft drink to resurrect the dead!

What’s in a name? More than you might think.
A London-based translation firm is offering parents-to-be the chance to check the meaning of prospective baby names in other languages to avoid inadvertently causing their offspring future embarrassment.

Wormonauts.
Scientists at the the University of Nottingham, England, spent more than a year preparing for the wormonauts’ mission.

Read more about language and words in the news.

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Comments (1)
  • As a school teacher I and other teachers are constantly correcting the use of English language away from slang to the correct use of words. Students are increasingly exposed to new words on the internet and social media. Slang words can be useful, although does not help with academic work at school. Global English I see is changing and a lot more use of American English is more commonly used, even on the BBC.

    Posted by Education Tay on 20th February, 2010
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