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Language and words in the news – 22nd January, 2016

© Ioannis Kounadeas / FotoliaThis 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

‘They’ Wins as Linguists’ Word of the Year
The competition was more youthful, more hipster, more urban, even naughtier. But in the end, “they” won.

Global English

2015 US-to-UK Word of the Year: mac and cheese
This dish has a name in the UK, and that name is macaroni cheese, but when it shows up in these new milieus, served as a side dish or with often other ‘gourmet’ ingredients, it is increasingly given its slangy American name.

Words, books, technology and language

Do you say splinter, spool, spile or spell? English Dialects app tries to guess your regional accent
A new app which tries to guess your regional accent based on your pronunciation of 26 words and colloquialisms will help Cambridge academics track the movement and changes to English dialects in the modern era.

Toilet or lavatory? How words Britons use betray national obsession with class
Few things are as British as the notion of class – and little betrays it as effectively as how you speak and the words you use.

Google translated Russia to ‘Mordor’ in ‘automated’ error
Google has fixed a bug in an online tool after it began translating “Russian Federation” to “Mordor”.


Guide to Air Punctuation
“A handy guide to atmospheric elevation of spoken communication”. Or: visual representations of air quotes and other punctuation marks.

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Liz Potter

Liz Potter

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