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English Language Nears 1M Words
English Language
Nears 1M Words

English Language Nears 1M Words

Foreign words help language reach milestone

(Newser) - If your New Year’s resolution is never to use the words “change,” “bailout,” and “Phelpsian” again, you’ll get some help on or about April 29, when the English language will acquire its millionth word—or so says a Texas-based group that tracks such...

Top 10 Most Irritating Phrases

Absolutely a nightmare, 24/7

(Newser) - At the end of the day, it's not rocket science, but the Guardian reports that researchers at Oxford University have been working absolutely 24/7 to compile a fairly unique list of phrases which, with all due respect, are some of the most irritating in popular use. You’ve just read...

Gosh Darn if Her Jargon Isn't as Empty as Folksy

Palin's 'pompom patois' obscures a big lack of substance

(Newser) - From the party whose leader infamously asked "Is our children learning?," we now have the baffling homespun language of Sarah Palin, for whom Maureen Dowd isn't thrilled to have to translate. The vice presidential candidate's "sing-songy jingoism" conceals a mass of contradictions and often a lack of...

Dictionary Gives Rare Words One Last Chance

Apodiectic use could save niddering and oppugnant

(Newser) - The Collins English Dictionary is giving rarely used words a last chance before they are dumped from the new edition, Time reports. Language lovers were outraged at plans to  exuviate (shed) words like oppugnant (combative), so the editors have made public a list of 24 candidates for deletion. If the...

LPGA Backs Off English-Only Policy
LPGA Backs Off English-Only Policy

LPGA Backs Off English-Only Policy

Tour bows to sponsors, civil rights groups on controversial rule

(Newser) - A firestorm of criticism has forced the LPGA to overturn its plans to penalize tour players who failed to pass an oral English evaluation after 2 years, GolfWeek reports. “After hearing the concerns, we believe there are other ways to achieve our shared objective of supporting and enhancing the...

LPGA to Test Players' English
 LPGA to Test Players' English 

LPGA to Test Players' English

Tour worries about sponsor interaction as foreign players increase

(Newser) - The LPGA will begin mandatory oral English tests for its players next year, and those who fail face suspension and required tutoring, Golfweek reports. The tour is stressing the importance of English as players from Asia have come to play a prominent role in the sport. Of the 121 international...

300M 'Chinglish' Speakers Can't Be Wrong

English as spoken in China may soon become a dialect

(Newser) - Some 300 million English speakers in China are altering the language in small but important ways—and may be creating their own dialect, Michael Erard writes in Wired. So-called "Chinglish"—which stresses unique syllables, drops dos and dids, and adds sounds for questions—has already been studied in...

Phonetics Reformers Buzzing at Spelling Bee

Revitalized movement wants to simplify the language

(Newser) - Every year, the National Spelling Bee sparks a protest from an 800-year-old movement that aims to simplify spelling by using phonetics, the Wall Street Journal reports. (Think thru vs. through.) “We have 42 different sounds in English, and we spell them 400 different ways,” says the 102-year-old...

Grammatical Dynamic Duo Wages War on Typos

Two men travel the country on a mission

(Newser) - Jeff Deck and Benjamin Herson are out-of-work Ivy Leaguers on a mission. They just wrapped up a three-month cross-country drive to eradicate typos and grammar gaffes in public spaces. Sharpies in hand, the pair confronted store owners about typos on their signs and windows and did their best to correct...

Philly Steak Shop Can Keep 'Please Speak English' Signs

Statement political, no service denied: panel

(Newser) - The owner of a Philadelphia institution can keep signs that ask customers to order their cheese steaks in English, the Philadelphia Inquirer reports. A city agency ruled the signs at Geno's Steaks—"This is America. When ordering, please speak English"—do not violate discrimination rules; owner Joey Vento...

If You Really Want to Hear About It ...

Though pushing 60, Holden Caulfield's story never gets old

(Newser) - Holden Caulfield was an angsty teen before James Dean and rock and roll made alientaed youth an icon. "There's really not the sense of teen culture that there is now," says the producer of "Gossip Girl." NPR takes the measure of Holden, J.D. Salinger, and...

Winning Word of 2007: 'W00t'
Winning Word of 2007: 'W00t'

Winning Word of 2007: 'W00t'

Merriam-Webster word of the year is gamer's victory cry

(Newser) - W00t is Merriam-Webster’s word of the year. The term is the victory cry of computer hackers and gamers, who also heatedly argue its origins. Merriam-Webster cites the explanation that gamers coined it as an alphanumeric acronym for “We Owned Other Team.” Contentious hackers claim it was code...

Immigrant Kids Talk the Talk: 90% Master English

Fluency makes dramatic leaps across generations

(Newser) - Although many Spanish-speaking immigrants who moved to America know little English, that's not true of their children and grandchildren, according to a new Pew survey. Only 23% of first-generation immigrants said they were competent in English, but 88% of second-generation and 94% of third-generation residents said they can carry on...

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