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.
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Is being a Rockefeller Republican so bad?
As the race for the Republican nomination intensifies, political labels come to the fore… Gingrich thought he’d hit a home run when he stopped calling Romney too “liberal” and instead attacked him as a “Rockefeller Republican.”
Maybe it’s time for a Grexit
Grexit being, of course, a Greek exit from the eurozone. The term comes from Willem Buiter and Ebrahim Rahbari at Citi, who are now leaning towards the “let them leave” argument.
Language change and slang
Did you hear the one about hysterical?
It’s true that hysterical “funny” is not especially ancient. The OED didn’t add a listing for the sense until 1993, with the earliest example from Mario Pei in 1969…
Your-all’s usage is OK
I recently heard someone make the following comment to a small group of people: “We appreciate your-all’s help on this project.” Is “your-all’s” correct usage?
Improve your English
Walking on thin ice
The recent cold snap in the UK may be over, but here’s a cartoon with a wintry theme. It shows News Corp’s chairman and CEO, Rupert Murdoch using the heads of Sun journalists as stepping stones as he walks across an icy lake.
Language teaching and resources
The Joy of Books
Film English, the runner-up in our recent best blog competition, has a lesson plan based on two brilliant animations about books.
Books, words, languages, and science
The Dickens Dictionary
It may have escaped your notice that 7th February was the 200th anniversary of the birth of Charles Dickens. John Sutherland, a recently retired Professor at the University of London, has written a witty and quirky Dickens Dictionary in handy bite-sized entries.
Finer points lost in Google translation
A couple of weeks ago I happened to read a column on the TSN website about the Montreal Canadiens. It was a machine translation, made by Google, of a column by Mario Tremblay…
Very suspicious quotation marks
Quotation marks are NOT to be used for “emphasis,” so “stop” doing “that.”
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