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Language and words in the news – 31st August 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.

Global English

Chris Christie’s pronouns
Poor Governor Christie. He’s getting the First Person Singular Pronoun attack, which so many others have directed at Barack Obama and Sarah Palin, among others.  Is it any more deserved in his case?

Language change and slang

What the h…?
With the Olympics over, thank God we won’t have to hear every last thing being described as “historic” any more. But is a new world record “a historic event” or “an historic event”?

Improve your English

To infinitely split with sense
Last month I wrote about the unhappy consequences of avoiding split infinitives – a silly superstition that leads writers and editors who believe in it to sometimes make a mush of otherwise lucid prose.

Writing the minutes
The person who takes the minutes is often called the “recording secretary”. This, however, is not an accurate term.

Language teaching and resources

Cartoons for the Classroom
This website has over 200 cartoon-based lessons for downloading. The latest is on the theme of technology in the classroom.

Books, dictionaries, words and languages

Democratic Dictionaries: From M to Nutter
A thoughtful article from Deborah Cameron on the advantages and disadvantages of crowdsourced dictionaries.

Uuuuuugh, Stop Adding Garbage Words to the Dictionary
The title says it all, really. A not at all thoughtful but entertaining (and sweary) post on whether neologisms should be added to dictionaries at all.

Does “NBA” Belong in Chinese Dictionaries?
Yet another post on what should and shouldn’t go in dictionaries, this one sparked by the inclusion of a number of English words in a recent edition of a Chinese dictionary.


Back to School
This cartoon has fun with the fact that users of Twitter and other social media are getting younger all the time.

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Liz Potter

Liz Potter

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