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.
Language change and slang
How OK Became Our One True Universal Colloquialism
OK has innumerable spellings and at least one hand sign. Not bad for a “low-status” abbreviation meaning “fine.”
10 Things People Once Complained Would Ruin The English Language
Today, it’s hard to imagine English as anything but a hodgepodge of words borrowed from other languages, but for some writers, English went downhill when we started tainting our tongue with Viking and Norman language.
Valentine’s Day is past, but here’s a piece on the language of love in South West India.
Improve your English
Why Is it “Woe Is Me”?
Though the phrase may strike modern speakers as bizarre if not downright ungrammatical, there’s actually a fairly straightforward explanation: it’s an archaic dative expression.
Language teaching and resources
English My Way
The BBC’s free online course is designed to help groups in the community help themselves to improve the English they need to deal with everyday situations.
Books, dictionaries, words and language
Pancake Day: a pancake recipe linguistic
To mark Shrove Tuesday, here’s a piece on the linguistic origins of the ingredients for the pancakes that are traditionally eaten on that day.
Infographic: 10 least spoken languages in the world
As many as half of the world’s 7000 languages are expected to be extinct by the end of this century. Here are some of the most endangered.
Words and Colours
Do words have colours for you? Find out here and compare your results with other people’s.
T S Eliot died 50 years ago last month and June marks the 100th anniversary of the publication of The Love Song of J Alfred Prufrock. Here’s a review of a biography of his early life.
The ‘arse that Jack Built
Somewhere between Sheffield and Chesterfield, people stop saying house and say something that sounds a lot more like ‘arse. (28 minutes, may not be available in all areas).
Can You Understand These Scottish Slang Terms?
Think you know a bit of Scottish slang? Take this wee test and see if you can unlock the lingo!
Are you trying to preposition me?
[…] Language and words in the news – 21 February. The Macmillan Dictionary blog shares a list of popular links related to language and words in the news. (Posted on Twitter 24 February.) […]