language and words in the news Love English

Language and words in the news – 6th June, 2014

© Ioannis Kounadeas / Fotolia

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

11 Weird Words/Phrases You Should Be Using
Sometimes a word tells you about a time and a place that’s gone forever. Sprunt is an old Scottish word meaning “to chase girls around among the haystacks after dark.” It’s recorded in an old dictionary of the dialect of the Roxburgh, but it tells you so much about what Roxburgh must have been like.

Language teaching and resources

Can You Tackle the World’s Trickiest Tongue Twister?
I’ve enjoyed tongues twisters both as a language teacher and a language learner (trying to get my tongue round sopra la panca la capra campa…). Here’s a fiendish new one.

Olive Green: Review
A new English course gets high marks for innovation, learner engagement and affordability, but low marks for pedagogy and user experience.

Books, science, dictionaries, words and language

What’s Lost as Handwriting Fades?
Children not only learn to read more quickly when they first learn to write by hand, but they also remain better able to generate ideas and retain information. In other words, it’s not just what we write that matters — but how.

Why Have Female Hurricanes Killed More People Than Male Ones?
Here’s a simple fact with an uncertain explanation: historically, hurricanes with female names have, on average, killed more people than those with male ones. As for why this should be, well, read it and see for yourself.

Disbelief, shock and skepticism: Hurricane gender study faces blowback
Many people were unconvinced by the conclusions drawn by authors of the Hurrican gender study. What is certain is that they’ve massively raised their public profile.

Ebooks on course to outsell printed editions in UK by 2018
The UK consumer ebook market – which excludes professional and educational books – is forecast to almost triple from £380m to £1bn over the next four years. Over the same period, sales of printed editions are predicted to fall by more than a third to £912m.

The Comic Sans creator explains how he made the world’s most hated font
Before it came along, most people barely registered type. But everyone recognises Comic Sans, especially on those occasions when its deployment is arrestingly inappropriate.


How languages evolve
Alex Gendler explains, with some very cute graphics, how linguists group languages into language families.


Teacher said what?
This cartoon plays on a creative mishearing of the word ‘summarize’.

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Liz Potter

Liz Potter

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