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Language and words in the news – 30th March 2012

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

The ultimate college dictionary
As most college students will tell you, at some point during your first few days on campus, somebody will say something to you and might as well be talking in Finnish.

Improve your English

Word endings – which letters are not at the end?
There are some letters that we don’t find at the end of native English words. Do you know what they are?

Language teaching and resources

I is for imitation
Listen! Repeat! Understand! It’s amazing how this notion has resisted the hatchet-job that Chomsky and his followers inflicted upon it so long ago.

Books, words, languages, and science

The arch-archivist
A recent piece by Simon Winchester in the New York Review of Books tells a sad and cautionary tale about two rival dictionary-makers…

Translators are obsessive-compulsive hoarders who will never part with their old and by now completely useless dictionaries
Translators don’t like to admit it, but it is a fact that most of us have never thrown out a single dictionary, no matter how hopelessly out of date it has become.  (Ahem, it’s not just translators.)


The former Waterstones’ apostrophe is no more
Sadapostrophe has hopped off into the sunset. ‘Last night, I had dinner with Hashtag. It was a sombre meeting. “DON’T waste your life on Twitter” he said.’


Benjamin Franklin’s Drinker’s Dictionary
A modern day Ben Franklin recites the founding father’s list of over 220 “round-about” phrases for being drunk (originally published in “The Pennsylvania Gazette” in 1737).

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Liz Potter

Liz Potter

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