This post contains a 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, language change, education in general, and language learning and teaching in particular. Feel free to contact us if you would like to submit a link for us to include, or just add a comment to the post, with the link(s) you’d like to share.
I’m after having a ride and a rasher and I’m off for a dig-out: discuss
“The great thing about Hiberno-English,” Prof Dolan says, “is it is a distillation of the Irish character. Irish people over the centuries have been oppressed, so therefore they don’t want people to know what it is they’re thinking or saying.”
In modern American English, “guys” in the plural can be directed at a mixed-sex or even an all-female group. “Guys” is spreading to British English too.
Phonemic Chart with Examples
Listen to Adrian Underhill’s talk on how to teach pronunciation and use his chart to teach your students how to recognize phonemic symbols and improve their pronunciation.
Differences in American and British English grammar
An article by Kerry Maxwell and Lindsay Clandfield on recognizing grammatical differences between American and British English.
Books, dictionaries, science, and languages
Glissandos and glissandon’ts
A lovely article about the origin and meaning of the musical term glissando.
You don’t have sex near unicorns.
Speaking to The New Yorker, Harry Potter and The Casual Vacancy author J.K. Rowling had some funny comments when asked about sex in her fantasy story.”You don’t have sex near unicorns. It’s an ironclad rule. It’s tacky.”
“The Story of Ain’t: America, Its Language, and the Most Controversial Dictionary Ever Published” by David Skinner
The dictionary commonly known as “Webster’s Third” — its full title is “Webster’s Third New International Dictionary of the English Language” — was published in 1961 after years of assiduous preparation and immediately ran into a storm of controversy that its editors could not have anticipated.
“Doped” vs Dope
This cartoon by Patrick Blower from The Daily Telegraph uses a play on words to connect two news stories.