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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Tidbits and titbits
Americans do not say tidbit because they would titter at BrE titbit. Americans say tidbit because that’s the original form of the word.
Have you ever been out swarping around?
I mentioned this expression to a middle-aged friend and he smiled and said he hadn’t heard it since his grandmother used it to scold him as a teenager.
Swedish hens and singular ‘they’
A few parts of speech admit new members readily: verbs and nouns and adjectives are successfully coined all time. But the bits of grammatical plumbing like conjunctions, prepositions and pronouns don’t admit much innovation.
Old Spice Ad Campaign Tries to Make ‘Smellf’ Happen
Can Old Spice make “smellf” happen? We don’t expect to adopt this word into our vocabulary, but it might draw a slight chuckle each time we hear it.
Quickworksheets: Create Vocabulary and grammar Worksheets Online
There are plenty of free online worksheet generators available, but most of them are cluttered with ads, and I couldn’t find any that are as well-designed and easy-to-use as Quickworksheets. The variety of worksheet types available is impressive.
Books, words, languages and dictionaries
How do you sign a local word like durian?
A video dictionary has been developed to show how the deaf can use sign language to describe local icons such as durian and Marina Bay Sands.
What is the worst of all words?
I remember as if it was yesterday the thrilling English lesson when my class teacher wrote the words nice, get, and got on pieces of paper and set fire to them, to impress upon our 10-year-old brains that we should choose more interesting words for our writing. This writer had a similar – if slightly less inflammatory – experience.