To boldly go where no man has gone before…for Captain Kirk and the rest of the Enterprise crew that might mean the deep reaches of space, but for a company called Sigmo, the most foreign landscape is here on earth. Sigmo is a small square-shaped bit of technology that the user wears around his or…

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Why do we persist in thinking that standard English is right, when it is spoken by only 15% of the British population? Linguistics-loving Harry Ritchie blames Noam Chomsky Harry Ritchie, The Guardian Did you see that great documentary on linguistics the other night? What about that terrific series on Radio 4 about the Indo-European language family tree? Or that news report…

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‘Because’ is 2013′s word of the year. Why? Well, because. The American Dialect Society has designated “because” the Word of the Year for 2013, much to the dismay of English teachers everywhere. That’s because in Web speak, “because” is not the unifying clause that grammar students are traditionally taught to follow up with a clause,…

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  Nevermind the ball drop and resolutions, the most exciting part of the new year is Oxford English Dictionary’s word of the year. This year, the front-runner and word to beat seemed to be “twerk”, thanks to Miley Cyrus making it such a household name that even grandparents were busting out the move as if…

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The implacable pedantry of the word police by Jen Doll, The Atlantic In August, the outcry began. “Have we literally broken the English language?” asked The Guardian. The Web site io9 announced “literally the greatest lexicographical travesty of our time,” while The Week bemoaned “the most unforgivable thing dictionaries have ever done.” The offense? Google’s…

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This is a guest post from Heather Foley When I taught English to teenagers in the UK, one of the most challenging topics was poetry.  Students struggled to locate hidden meanings, found language analysis difficult, and sometimes just felt alienated by themes. But, a group of poems from other cultures often stirred them.  These poems…

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This is a guest post from Paige Calahan, SocialMonsters, paige@socialmonsters.org With over 50 percent of U.S. college students studying abroad choosing Europe as their destination, there’ s a good chance those high school Spanish or French lessons will come in handy. However, if you’ve taken the lesser-traveled path and picked an African, Asian or Middle Eastern country for your…

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Pet owners always talk about the unspoken bond between them and their pets.  But what if they could finally know once and for all what Fido actually thinks of them? Swedish-based company ST has launched a new Indiegogo campaign to raise funds for a device they claim can translate a dog’s thoughts into English. “No…

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Source: Fox News A man being criticized by sign language experts for providing fake interpretations while standing close to President Obama and other heads of state at Nelson Mandela’s memorial says he becomes violent “a lot” and was hallucinating during the event. Thamsanqa Jantjie did not describe his qualifications for being a sign language interpreter,…

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Google Translate is a pretty great free tool, but it’s only useful if it actually works where you need it. Today it works in even more places, as Google has updated both the web service and the Android app with nine new languages, mostly from sub-Saharan Africa and Asia. Here’s the full list: Hausa (Harshen Hausa)…

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