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Language and words in the news – 9th November 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

Making a hames of it
The word hame is usually found in the plural: hames are two curved wooden or metal pieces forming part of the collar of a draught animal’s harness.

Briticisms in AmE
Of course, there’s a lot more to say about these things than can go in a quote in a news article–or even in a whole news article. So, here are some more rambling ramblings.

Language change and slang

“Too much Obama vote”
For the linguistically sensitive, one of the burning questions stemming from last night’s election-night coverage was, “When did vote become a mass noun?”

ExecuSpeak Dictionary: Productize
Productize? Yes, productize. While it sounds like one of those made-up words, it really is a useful concept.

Improve your English

François Hollande’s ‘Friendly’ Mistake
French President François Hollande has caused much hilarity on social media sites after he committed a faux pas by signing a letter congratulating Barack Obama on his re-election with “Friendly, Hollande”.

A wind from the northeast
The storm now afflicting New York and New Jersey and nearby states is either a northeaster or a nor’easter.

Books, dictionaries, words and languages

Who needs dictionaries?
In this recent British Council seminar, Macmillan Editor-in-Chief Michael Rundell explores the future of dictionaries.

Swedish ‘nerds’ petition to get definition changed in dictionary
“A nerd is a person with strong interests,” the petition states. “A person with enormous drive and engagement. You can be a gaming nerd, a horse nerd, a word nerd, or a study nerd.”

9 Of The Most Beautiful Words In The English Language
Contrary to erroneous belief, the words needn’t be sesquipedalian, although it can be fun to learn a few “foot-and-a-half long” ones.


The Best Is Yet To Come
In this cartoon from The Sun, Andy Davey shows Obama addressing a line of people made homeless by Hurricane Sandy who are queueing for soup. He tells them, “Americans! You ain’t seen nothin’ — the best is yet to come!”

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Liz Potter

Liz Potter

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