language and words in the news

Language and words in the news – 2 October, 2009

This 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

Why English teaching is all the rage.
More graduates are learning to teach English to avoid economic gloom at home.

English for journalists.
The BBC College of Journalism is a training department of the BBC which provides courses for journalists.
Picked up from The English Blog.

How Google Wave could transform journalism.
Seems like everyone is buzzing about how the collaborative Web tool will revolutionize how we do business, organize parties, manage projects with friends, cheat on homework and market brands.

Revisiting globalisation of English.
When Indonesians start to learn English they will face two canonical forms of English: American English or British English.

William Safire’s dead language.
It’s a wonder why the conservative New York Times columnist was taken seriously as a political commentator and wordsmith.

Language experts study hate mail.
You could say women use more adjectives because they can be more socially evaluative but we don’t look at why rather than how the two different groups behave.

Common errors in English

Autumn quiz on commonly confused words.
You know the routine: ten questions, two minutes, correct answers at the bottom of the post.

Things people say that I hate

“At the end of the day” not management-speak.
I’m not going to claim that “managers” and other coporate types are actually less likely to use the expression “at the end of the day” than (say) liberal intellectuals and fashion- or gossip-magazine writers are, but …

So I say outpedant the pedants, and allow yourself to gluttonously revel in the linguistic improprieties of yore as you familiarize yourself with the nearly unique enormity of the gloriously mistaken heritage that our literature is comprised of.


A word that looks as if it means one thing but means quite another could be called a phantonym, and warrants wariness.

Thinking literally – the surprising ways that metaphors shape your world.
Drawing on philosophy and linguistics, cognitive scientists have begun to see the basic metaphors that we use all the time not just as turns of phrase, but as keys to the structure of thought.

Last week’s news.

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Jonathan Cole


  • This is an incredibly useful site, with links that are engaging and fascinating. You and the “OUPblog” are some of the best language sites out there. Keep up the great work!

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