language and words in the news

Week in review

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This post contains a weekly selection of links related to English language today. These can be items from the latest news, blog posts or interesting related websites. A new weekly review post will be posted every Friday. Please contact us if you would like to submit a link for us to include.


Email language apparently reflects your age and social status.

The recently launched World Digital Library (WDL) makes available on the Internet, free of charge and in multilingual format, significant primary materials from countries and cultures around the world.

How does the brain form sentences?
‘Forming a grammatically correct sentence may seem to require advanced cognitive skills, but it turns out that our creative language capacity might rely on a less sophisticated system than is commonly thought’.

Assimilating culture – what language tells us about immigration and integration.

Lip-reading computers can detect different languages.

Blog posts

What’s become of the English language?
‘Years ago, when I worked for police departments as a dispatcher we used 10 codes. 10-44 meant an officer was asking for lunch. I always liked to try to speak English as much as I could, and not use the 10 codes. For example instead of saying 10-4, which meant okay, I would just say okay. Seemed simple enough to me’.

Well, well, well.
‘Again, I am puzzled when I ask someone how they are and they reply “I’m good!” – as though I had enquired about their moral welfare. What’s wrong with the “I’m well, thanks!” that I grew up with?’


7 English Words and their Biblical Hebrew origins.

A brief history of the English language.

50 euphemisms for job termination.

How Winston Churchill learned English.

Keep English simple.
‘Or as Galen, a doctor and philosopher who lived almost 2000 years ago, put it, “The chief merit of language is clearness, and we know that nothing detracts so much from this as do unfamiliar terms’.


Blog of unnecessary quotation marks.

Do you speak English? (video)

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Jonathan Cole

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