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Not sure whether this is of much interest, but here are some links for this week:

As it is the end of the year, we're getting some more Word of the Year lists:

First, there is Fritinancy with her choice of brand names of the year over at Visual Thesaurus. It's not a list of favourites, but more about what has been in the (American) news and what's indicative of naming trends.

Second, over at the same place Ben Zimmer in his Word Routes column shares his "Year in Words". Again, an American slant, but lots of fun and thought-provoking entries.

Third, the American Dialect Society is still looking for nominations for #woty12 (which is the hashtag you should use on twitter if you've got a word for them).

Fourth, the words that were looked up in Merriam-Webster's online dictionary last year because of something in the news, week by week.

As a bonus, links to two tweets by lexicographer Kory Stamper about Xmas, the word people love to hate for the wrong reasons.

In Eng, "X" for "Christ" dates to ~1000AD. "Xmas": 1500. Idea that "Xmas" is a secular whitewash of "Christmas": 1943

First newspaper defense of "Xmas" as keeping the "Christ" in "Christmas": 1926

Original tweets contain links to the documents.

So, what's your #woty12?
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It's Sunday again!

It's time for language linking!

I'm bringing a new - to me - word again and this time it's chiefly Australian:

ranga as the Australian version of British ginger meaning red-haired (which I believe has recently made it to the US through its use in Harry Potter and so on, as discussed on Separated by a Common Language here.)

Found at fully (sic) an Australian language blog, who got it from the Australian National Dictionary Centre's Word of the Month series.
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I can't believe that another week has gone! I was so very close to forgetting about a language link.

But a visit to Languagehat has provided me with a link to an NPR (that is America's public radio station) story about the word random - you can listen or read a written version here. What I took from it: It's not only okay to use random outside of its mathematical context, the mathematical meaning wasn't even first! Also, Jesse Sheidlower, the editor at large for the Oxford English Dictionary, is purple-haired. Not new to me, but worth repeating: "Life, like language, evolves."

Word of the week: Selfie to mean a self-portrait taken by a mobile phone camera. Found this in a story about Justin Bieber who made the mistake of taking a picture of himself with a mobile phone that some random girl threw on stage during a concert. Guess what? Cue more mobile phones being thrown at him. Video evidence here.
sister_luck: (autumn)
If I manage to do it twice in a row, does it become a tradition?

Again a link to LanguageLog which this week gave us two vintage postcards and the commenters breaking the code used by the original writers.

There are also the Word of the Year lists going around - with Separated by a Common Language looking for words migrating between British English and American English. Leave your nominations over there.

I've also decided that there needs to be an International English Word of the Year and it has to be YOLO, because my students keep using it, not only in English lessons, but also thrown into German conversations. I'm convinced the trend will be short-lived - they will soon be embarrassed about writing it on their knuckles and all over their books, but its spread has been spectacular. In his Word column in the Boston Globe from August Ben Zimmer explains it to those over 25 (who don't get into regular contact with teenagers, I should add).
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I read a lot of language blogs - and every week there is something new and fascinating that I find out. So, I've decided I want to share it with you!

Here's my favourite for this week:

Wow! They've got a word for it: Tooth butter - when you put so much butter on your roll that when you bite into it your teeth leave a mark. Certainly a phenomenon that I've experienced and the good people of Denmark have given me a word for it. Thanks! Read more at languagelog.
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Lynne Murphy tweeted:

Noah Webster, coiner of the term 'American English' & all-(a)round dislik(e)able guy. Book review by @jessesheidlower:



May. 18th, 2010 05:49 pm
sister_luck: (oops)
Photographs of an art project in Berlin: Innen Stadt Au├čen.

Interview with the artist (in German).

Official site (in English) with more pictures.

Driftwood logs in the middle of the city, mirrors small and great in unexpected places, kaleidoscopes, white lines that you may know from a football field all squiggly and disappearing into the undergrowth. And I nearly forgot to mention the bicycles with mirrors for wheels.
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Via [ profile] frances_lievens' bloglines and boingboing I bring you pictures of French giants on Berlin streets.

(Street art, but not the kind you usually see around here.)

Tomorrow: praise for Dollhouse, autumn pictures, family stuff.


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