English language

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Word Invented by Simpsons Now in Dictionary

D'oh, it's 'embiggen'

(Newser) - Merriam-Webster's dictionary just got heavier, with 850 new words added to its pages for 2018. "Self-care," "life hack," "dark chocolate," and "tzatziki" finally got the nod, in addition to "glamping" (glamorous camping with plumbing), "mansplain," "hmm," "... More »

Judge Orders Lawyer to Have English Teacher Review Work

Legal complaint filed in Florida was incomprehensible

(Newser) - Judges reject legal filings for all kinds of reasons, but one spotted by the Above the Law blog is downright embarrassing. Judge Cecilia M. Altonaga of the Southern District of Florida agreed with opposing attorneys that a complaint filed on behalf of a housekeeping employee suing a hospital was just... More »

Oxford Dictionary Boasts a New Final Word

'Zyzzyva' has been added, as have 'post-truth,' 'unclick,' and a word describing sperm

(Newser) - And you thought "covfefe" was hard to pronounce. The Oxford English Dictionary has added more than 1,200 new "words, phrases, and senses" to its tome, per a blog post , and among them is an entry that nabs the spot as the last word in the book. "... More »

Canadian PM Rapped for Speaking French

He should've responded to questions in English, critics say

(Newser) - How do you say "he stepped in it" in French? Though he leads an officially bilingual country, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau was rapped for slipping into the language of Moliere instead of sticking to Shakespeare. No fewer than three official complaints were lodged with Canada's Commissioner of... More »

Oxford English Dictionary Quietly Adds Tamil Slang 'Aiyo'

'The OED has admitted a rare word of power into its pages'

(Newser) - In the latest quarterly update of the Oxford English Dictionary, there was great rejoicing when, in honor of the 100th anniversary of Roald Dahl's birth, words such as "splendiferous" and "human bean" joined the great heap of our language's modern lexicon. More quietly, the Tamil slang... More »

Enjoy Your 'Th' Sounds Now, They'll Be Gone by 2066

According to a new report from British linguistic experts

(Newser) - The Queen's English as spoken in the UK is under attack by immigrants, computers, American television, and youths. Or should we say yoofs? In a report published Thursday, linguistic experts at the University of York predict major changes in Brits' pronunciation of the English language by 2066, the Sun... More »

Here Are the Latest Additions to Oxford English Dictionary

'Yolo' made the cut

(Newser) - The latest slang to be added to the Oxford English Dictionary: "yolo," which, as all the youngsters know, stands for "you only live once." The new crop of more than 1,000 words and terms added to the OED also includes "gender-fluid," "yogalates"... More »

You Don't Know as Many Words as You Think You Do

Maybe about 42K if you're a 20-year-old, slightly more if you're older—but definitely not 200K

(Newser) - You don't have to be a lexicographer to have a pretty ample lexicon—but your word knowledge still may not be as ample as you think. At least, that's according to a Ghent University study published in the Frontiers in Psychology , said to be the largest ever of... More »

Teacher Can't Speak Spanish, Doesn't Get Spanish Gig, Sues

Florida teacher says she's 'otherwise fully qualified' for the job

(Newser) - A Florida schoolteacher has filed a workplace discrimination lawsuit against her employer for turning her down for a job teaching Spanish—even though she doesn't speak Spanish, the News & Observer reports. Tracy Rosner, who teaches third grade at Coral Reef Elementary in Palmetto Bay, alleges in her federal... More »

Frozen Custard Stand Dinged Over Uncool English-Only Policy

The owner is willing to fight anyone who says he's racist

(Newser) - A frozen-treat shop is in hot water over an English-only policy for its employees. Joey Sanchez, a customer at Leon's Frozen Custard in Milwaukee, tells WISN he heard an employee tell a Spanish-speaking customer she had to order in English. The employee then told Sanchez she wasn't allowed... More »

French Students Protest 'Impossible' English Test

Some 12K students not 'coping' well, have signed a petition

(Newser) - When teens in France recently sat down to take an English language test, they were asked a pair of questions about Ian McEwan's novel Atonement: "What are three of his concerns about the situation?" and "How is Turner coping with the situation?" That latter question was apparently... More »

Why It's Hard to Learn Math in English

Words like "eleven" mess us up

(Newser) - When it comes to learning math, English speakers face a disadvantage that has nothing to do with the classroom environment. Research suggests that the English language simply makes it hard to talk about numbers, the Wall Street Journal reports. A key reason comes when kids reach the number 11: A... More »

Twitter Account About to Finish Tweeting Every Word

@everyword will send out its last tweet Saturday

(Newser) - After seven years spent tweeting every word in the English language one at a time, what was @everyword ’s most popular tweet? “Sex.” The popular Twitter feed will finally complete its task early Saturday, but until then, creator Adam Parrish is keeping the last word that will... More »

Texas Principal Who Banned Spanish Loses Job

Amy Lacey told students they could not speak it at school

(Newser) - A middle school principal near Houston who banned the speaking of Spanish on school grounds is out of a job, reports KHOU . The Hempstead School Board on Monday chose not to renew the contract of Amy Lacey, who set off a local firestorm on Nov. 12 when she announced, over... More »

Internet Invents a Preposition, Because Irony

Blogs, social media changing grammar: Megan Garber

(Newser) - Because politics. Because science. Because money. Remember when you'd need an "of" in these sentences? No longer, because Internet-speak, writes Megan Garber in the Atlantic . In short, the Internet has turned "because" into its own preposition (as language expert Stan Carey has pointed out ). For example,... More »

Thanks, Miley: 'Twerking' Now in Dictionary

Derp, derp, derp, vom.

(Newser) - It seems Miley Cyrus is dominating our conversations in more ways than one. Among words added this quarter to the Oxford Dictionaries Online is "twerking" —the ass-shaking dance move that had everyone talking about Miley after this week's MTV VMAs . Though the word has been around for... More »

Cuba Gets First English-Language Bookstore

American ex-pat opens co-op

(Newser) - Cuba's first English-language bookstore, cafe, and literary salon opened in Havana yesterday. The brainchild of a longtime US expat, Cuba Libro launched with just 300 books on offer, about what you'd expect to find in the lobby of an average US bed & breakfast. Next to what's... More »

Most Kids Curse Before They Learn the Alphabet

And they pick it up from ... guess who?

(Newser) - Most kids can utter an expletive before they even know their ABCs—probably because their parents (and most other adults) have such terrible pottymouths, according to a new book. In Holy Sh*t: A Brief History of Swearing, Mellissa Mohr argues that English-speakers actually use a curse word about once every... More »

14 Great Words the English Language Lacks

Have you ever felt tartled?

(Newser) - You're stuffed, but you just can't stop eating because the meal is so delicious. What's the word for that again? Right, there is none, at least in English. But Georgians sum it up as "shemomedjamo." It's one of 14 interesting foreign words rounded up... More »

'Fiscal Cliff' Tops List of Banished Words

Of course, that doesn't mean anyone will stop saying them

(Newser) - It's the end of another year, and thus time for Michigan's Lake Superior State University to release its 38th annual List of Words to be Banished from the Queen's English for Misuse, Overuse, and General Uselessness. The dozen words and phrases that made this year's cheeky... More »

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