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.
They Say You Should Break This Grammar Rule
Let me make my position clear: In situations with a generic singular antecedent, “they” is not OK. It is preferable.
Hobson-Jobson Soup: English Words from Indian Languages
Diwali was last month, but here are some words that English has adopted from Indian languages, with their origins.
Silent letters in English
One of the numerous things that bedevil English spelling are the many silent letters we have in our words.
Books, dictionaries, science, words and language
A pause for thought
I’m convinced that, when unfairly discarded, [commas] often turn into redundant apostrophes, and then start hanging around grocery shop’s and other place’s, making nuisance’s of themselve’s.
An Infant’s Brain Maps Language From Birth, Study Says
A new study study reveals that an infant’s brain may remember a language, even if the child has no idea how to speak a word of it.
Shirtfront: A brief history of an Australian word
The Macquarie Dictionary is considering changing the meaning of “shirtfront”, just weeks after it was used by Prime Minister Tony Abbott.
“Second Cousins,” “Once Removed,” and More Explained in Chart Form
If you’ve ever wondered what relation your great-aunt’s grandchild is to you, here’s the answer.
Britain’s silliest place names
For those who delight in the ridiculous, a series of maps showing Britain’s most amusingly named places. Lots of Bottoms, and other rude words. I want to live on Plumpudding Island.
23 maps and charts on language
We’ve linked to some of these before, but no apologies for showing them again.
“Aren’t you a native English speaker?” “Right! Which makes me totally unqualified to teach it.”