language and words in the news

Language and words in the news – 06 February, 2010

© Volodymyr Vasylkiv / Fotolia.comThis post contains a weekly 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 and language change. Please contact us if you would like to submit a link for us to include.

Global English

Malaysia: English language is not neglected, says Muhyiddin.
The Government’s decision not to continue teaching Science and Mathematics in English does not mean the language is being neglected.

Canada: Ticked off at the language police.
…that’s when the Office Quebecoise de la language francaise sent him a letter threatening legal action if he doesn’t create a French version of his 65-page [English] site.

Italian words spread to English language.
[Italian] became influential in humanities, arts and music. Italian words soon spread to other languages, including English. Here are a few samples.

The British are coming! The British are coming!
The only possible explanation for this British linguistic invasion is the putative social prestige that some Americans associate with British accents and locutions.

Language Change and Slang

By gosh, there’s a name for it.
A soundalike swearword that allows one to cuss without being offensive.

Would-be barristers to face language exam.
Prospective barristers will soon have to take a test to prove their fluency in English.

30% of Leet n00bs, Can’t rite Good Inglish, LOL!
“Thirty per cent of students who are admitted are not able to pass at a minimum level,” says Ann Barrett, managing director of the English language proficiency exam at Waterloo University.

Lasciate ogni poesia.
And so, he says, we should stop giving poets grants to write poems for each other, or salaries to teach poetry to college students, and instead let them engage in a Darwinian struggle for a mass audience…

The death of a language.
The loss of endangered languages like Bo is more a cultural than a scientific tragedy.

Improve your English

Use AI chatbots for English language practice.
An Artificial Intelligence chatbot is a piece of software that begins with a number of programmed questions and appropriate responses. The chatbot is then able to learn from each subsequent exchange..

A grammar lesson in Parliament.

More on online language learning.
Last week’s article on online language learning apparently hit a nerve.

Bad for finance: good for linguistics — and
Macmillan Publishing has teamed up with DNA India to offer its readers a unique, double-click dictionary feature, providing instant access to definitions, pronunciations, examples and synonyms.

Top 10 blogs for writers, editors, & teachers of writing.

Common errors in English

Miami Herald Has 133 Grammar Errors in 1 Issue: Cutbacks Symptom

Books, words, science and the history of language

Word it out – like Wordle with more options.
The complaint that some people have about Wordle is that it doesn’t offer much in the way of customization options. That’s where Word It Out shines.

My untranslatable novel.
Here’s the interesting thing about being bilingual: deep down, you’re more in one camp than the other, even if the difference is slight.

Goldilocks devices.
Web-browsing gadgets – like the iPad – which are positioned somewhere between smartphones and laptops.

Researchers parse pronouns, indicate couples using ‘we’ good conflict solvers.

Video: Medieval helpdesk.

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Jonathan Cole

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