language and words in the news

Language and words in the news – 22 January, 2010

© NL Shop / FotoliaThis 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

Objecting to an English-only America.
“Multilingualism is the norm around the world,” said David Boe, an English professor at NMU.

Speech therapy.
Before long, people were consciously cultivating the once-despised dialect. Now an extra-hammy version of the accent — which thrives in the New York City area, including northern New Jersey — is a point of fighting pride.

New Yawk Disappearin’
Much like the vanishing language of a Native American tribe, the elders of the Lower East Side cannot seem to pass their dialect on to their children.

France will simply have to swallow Anglobalization of common language.
‘… claimed that the invasion of English words poses a greater “threat” to France’s national identity than the imposition of German under the Nazis.’

Decision time for overseas students.
One of the greatest assets of UK education plc is the global importance of the English language.

Learning the lingo in the land of Oz .
Fuzzies. Mozzies. Woolies.

China’s the word in more US schools.
Students have alternate English and Chinese days, learning entirely in one language on a given day. They also move between separate Chinese and English classrooms.

Foreign languages fade in class — except Chinese.
WASHINGTON — Thousands of public schools stopped teaching foreign languages in the last decade, according to a government-financed survey.

English language schools fear new visa rules.
It has been estimated that 600,000 people come to the UK to learn English, bringing £1.5bn to the economy.

Linguistic sweatshops.
Linguistic ideology makes us believe that certain languages and accents are superior to others.

Language Change and Slang

Texting kids are better spellers.
Textism is was actually driving the development of phonological awareness and reading skill in children.

Sarcasm punctuation most revolutionary mark since the smiley.
‘… Britons have defined it as our own, using it in subtle ways to leave a recipient unsure of whether they have been insulted until two weeks later.’

The language of human rights.
When the vocabulary of criminal justice is hijacked, we rarely can get the media to present an unbiased account of events that considers the fact that the charges may be incoherent, or the evidence nonexistent.

This column will change your life: To be or not to be …
“Therefore we would do well to avoid finalistic, absolutistic terms. Can we ever find ‘perfection’ or ‘certainty’ or ‘truth’? No! Then let us stop using such words in our formulations.”

Dutch ‘defriended‘ as far back as 1626.
“My friends thou hast defriended”

How new words are made.
SlideShare presentation

Improve your English

The Washington Post —Best education blogs for 2010

Things people say that I hate

Why you’re seeing more copy-editing errors in The Washinton Post
Some relief may be coming for beleaguered copy editors.

Are you stupid enough to use leverage as a verb?
It is a crude bastardisation of language.

Books, words, science and the history of language

Language structure is partly determined by social structure.
A new study on linguistic evolution that challenges the prominent hypothesis for why languages differ throughout the world.

The secret history of typography in the Oxford English Dictionary.
Nick Martens digs into the pages of the great dictionary that chronicles the history and development of the English language, and unearths some typographic gems.

Unusual words about words.
Granted, you may not have many opportunities to slip these terms into a conversation, but if you’re a fellow logophile, you should definitely find them interesting.

The Brinch.
Suggested nickname for Simon Cowell. [British + Grinch]

“Radicalize”: one pick for 2009 Word of the Year.
If we evaluate the decade by a list of buzzwords, political jargon, catch phrases, media bites, blogger coinages, and punditry neologisms, it appears to be a grave decade indeed.

How to win at Scrabble® with the Macmillan Dictionary, and the meaning of Scrabble.

Funny sign

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Jonathan Cole

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