language and words in the news

Language and words in the news – 24 April, 2010

This 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

China has many ‘dirty words‘.
George Carlin might have been overwhelmed trying to figure out China’s ‘guidance of public opinion.’

Pardon my French.
“The end of French political power has brought the end of French,” Mr. Zemmour said.

Language change and slang

Trend of ‘big baby’ adult children living with parents goes global.
Are any of you familiar with the Italian term, “bamboccioni”?

Lean, unlovely English.
Digollice is one of those words of which any language should be proud. It is elegant yet robust, clear yet multi-faceted—a description that perhaps sounds like that of an overpriced wine, but which is apt nonetheless.

Hugely popular text messaging spawns language change.
This week, the Canadian Wireless Telecommunications Association will announce that Canadians sent 35.3 billion texts in 2009, up 70 per cent over the previous year.

A ban on Roman letter acronyms?

Slang phrase guide speaks volumes about language.
More than three years in the making, Chao’s book, published late last year, catalogs the underbelly of the Chinese language.

Mesofacts, memes and more: 25 new tech words you need to know.

Improve your English

Why can’t we get bilingual education right?
So why do people continue to believe in English-only immersion programs that are not supported by research and don’t effectively teach children English?

Penguin reprints book, peppered with an error, wants it taken with grain of salt.
The publishing company was forced to pulp and reprint 7000 copies of Pasta Bible last week.

Books, words, science and the history of language

When language is blocked, music may offer detour.
The therapy is built on two threads of research. One has found that music-making can change the brains of healthy normal people and plays a role in engaging and strengthening connections between the auditory and motor regions of the right side of the brain.

Google to correct your bad spelling’s and grammar.
For a variety of reasons, it can be hard to express yourself. If you don’t as a user know the right words, Google is going to try to understand what it is you are trying to say.

Google throws its weight behind voice.
Voice Search, introduced about 18 months ago, lets mobile users search the Web by speaking into their phones rather than typing in a query.

Real-time voice translation coming to mobile.
A universal translator has been a longtime dream in science fiction, including the Star Trek TV series.

How to say ‘ass’ in Na’vi.
With ‘Avatar’ out on DVD, bone up on bluespeak.

Linguistic and logical wonders of Alice in Wonderland.


18 Goofy and hilarious visual puns.

About the author


Jonathan Cole

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