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Language and words in the news – 17th March, 2017

© Volodymyr Vasylkiv / Fotolia.comThis 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.

Global English

Accent discrimination: you are what you speak
I moved from India to Canada when I was ten, and within two years I had lost my accent entirely. If you just heard me over the phone, for all intents and purposes I was a bona fide Canuck.

Language change and slang

Why words die
Of the Oxford English Dictionary’s 231,000 entries, at least a fifth are obsolete.

Words, books, dictionaries, and language

Word by word
Most people use a dictionary with little thought given to the genesis of definitions, or their maintenance. Kory Stamper pulls back the curtain in Word by Word: The Secret Life of Dictionaries.

An Oxford comma changed this court case completely
If you have ever doubted the importance of the humble Oxford comma, let this supremely persnickety Maine labor dispute set you straight.

World’s greatest derp
On Sunday, the current occupant of the White House and Mar-a-Lago took to Twitter to share his innermost thoughts, and got so carried away he misspelled the word principles.


A Stet in the Night, A Grammar Noir Mystery
His eyes narrowed. “This is not a moment for airy persiflage. Sweeney, bind him to his chair.”


It’s easier to get people to stop speaking a language than to take it up again. Just ask the Irish.
It was remiss of me to almost let St Patrick’s Day pass without mention. Here’s a cheeky late addition to remedy that.

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Liz Potter

Liz Potter

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