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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Roald Dahl’s Revolting Rhymes pulled from Aldi shelves over use of word ‘slut’
In Australia, the Aldi supermarket chain has removed iconic Roald Dahl children’s book Revolting Rhymes from its shelves after complaints from customers about the use of the word ‘slut’.
Some distinctly unheroic recent uses of the word ‘hero’, as spotted by Nancy Friedman.
Why Do You Think You’re Right About Language? You’re Not
We like to think we’re more enlightened and less bigoted than our ancestors, but as long as we believe that some idiolects are right and some are wrong, we’re not making much progress.
John Oliver and Contemporary Brumminess
An analysis of the accent of the popular US-based (but British-born) comedian John Oliver. So is he or isn’t he a Brummy?
Books, science, dictionaries, words and language
Parents, listen next time your baby babbles
A new study by the University of Iowa and Indiana University found that how parents respond to their children’s babbling can actually shape the way infants communicate.
Second Languages Around the World
This map shows the second most common first language in (nearly) every country in the world.
Readers absorb less on Kindles than on paper, study finds
A new study has found that readers using a Kindle were ‘significantly’ worse than paperback readers at recalling when events occurred in a mystery story.
Book review: Bad English: A History of Linguistic Aggravation, by Ammon Shea
No special training is required to be an amateur grammarian, and so the annals of language commentary fill with unfounded peeves from those who like to tell other people they are Doing Language Wrong.
Classic First Lines of Novels in Emojis: A Quiz
12 famous first lines from novels translated into emojis. Can you name them?