language and words in the news

Week in review: 12 June, 2009

© Ioannis Kounadeas / 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.


The Millionth word story botched.
‘… it is boring, boring, boring.’

Threat of closure for university language departments.
Academics blame funding diverted away from arts and humanities subjects in favour of sciences.
Related: Humanities have no important issues.

‘Octomom’ joins the English language — but who owns it?

Why we all need our own secret slang.
An obscure slang last used by Elizabethan thieves is undergoing something of a revival … in prisons.

Federer puts English on the ball.
Why Federer’s acceptance speech was in English.

Blogs and columnists

USA: The language we choose has helped shape U.S. energy debate.
‘Foreign’ is code for the Middle East,’ Ms. Bosley said.

Be part of a space mission: help ESA name next European mission to the ISS.

Neologisms and the like.

That’s a Yoke, Son.
‘The core was syzyg-, and it has given us some strange words.’

Learning English pronunciation. Funny clip with Steve Martin.

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Jonathan Cole

1 Comment

  • The Steve Martin clip is hilarious – thanks for the hearty laugh. But what’s wrong with the teacher – he said it well the first time! I teach English in Italy, and I’ve come to the conclusion over the years that “breaking down” in that way is useless. I like to do the opposite and get students to repeat the whole sentence with intonation and rhythm (very different from Italian). That’s also hilarious at times – a good reason for using it in the classroom.

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