Language and words in the news – 21 August, 2009

Posted by on August 21, 2009

© Scott Maxwell / 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.

Language and words in the news

Language watch: is Gibbs striking the wrong “denote”?
The word is “denote.” And White House press secretary Robert Gibbs sure likes it a lot, which has not gone un-denoted by political observers and the White House press corps.

Colorful language.
I’ve often referred to the comics page as the last bastion of Victorian thought, but even I am still baffled from time to time at what you can NOT say on the comics page.

Five reasons (and 9,000 words) on why newspapers are tanking.
Newspapers and the people who work at them are reflexively change-averse — “Journalists like to affect a garrulous Ludditism.”

Fry’s English Delight, Radio 4.
The Independent on Fry’s new radio show.

Language change and slang

Dictionary removes beaver, replaces with blog and blackberry.

New words are signs of the times.
Bird’s nest, water cube and SARS are some of the new phrases included in the latest edition of China’s most authoritative dictionary.

Interesting new words are the ones most likely to fail.
Brangelina, octomom, infotainment etc. have really short lives, yet more interesting are some of the reasons why.
Sent in by Kati Sule.

The birth of ‘Just Do It’ and other magic words.
Mr. Gilmore, the notorious spree-killer, uttered the words “Let’s do it” just before a firing squad executed him in Utah in 1977.

I’m not hanging noodles on your ears and other intriguing idioms from around the world.

Things people say that I hate

Think b4 you speak.
Lexically speaking, the word Gay is a battleground of warring meanings, uses, and baggage.

A manner of speaking: ten (usually) empty phrases.

Books, websites, language history and blogs

Garnish.
The word comes from an old form that meant to ward off, to prevent, to protect, to prepare.

We are working on a list of words that can replace the word ‘baby’ in song lyrics.

Language Video

Peter Sellers does various English accents.

Read more about language and words in the news.

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