Donnerstag, 11. April 2013

Nine Things You Probably Didn’t Know About Swear Words

Four-letter words have been around since the days of our forebears—and their forebears, too. In Holy Sh*t: A Brief History of Swearing, a book out this month from Oxford University Press, medieval literature expert Melissa Mohr traces humans’ use of naughty language back to Roman times. NewsFeed asked Mohr what surprising tidbits readers might stumble upon amidst the expletives. Here are nine talking points from her opus for your next (presumably, pretty edgy) cocktail hour.

Montag, 18. März 2013

Commas and Feelings

A student in my “History of the English Language” course stopped me after class a few weeks ago and asked, “I was just wondering—how do you feel about the Oxford comma?” She could have asked about the rationale behind the Oxford comma (the comma after the penultimate item in a list—e.g., apples, chocolate, and peanut butter) or about the history of the Oxford comma. But instead, she asked how I felt about the Oxford comma, the suggestion being that a punctuation mark could be meaningful enough to arouse personal feelings.

Sonntag, 17. März 2013

Creating Classrooms We Need: 8 Ways Into Inquiry Learning

If kids can access information from sources other than school, and if school is no longer the only place where information lives, what, then happens to the role of this institution?
“Our whole reason for showing up for school has changed, but infrastructure has stayed behind,” said Diana Laufenberg, who taught history at the progressive public school Science Leadership Academy for many years. Laufenberg provided some insight into how she guided students to find their own learning paths at school, and enumerated some of these ideas at SXSWEdu last week.

SimCityEDU: Using Games for Formative Assessment

As game-based learning gains momentum in education circles, teachers increasingly want substantive proof that games are helpful for learning. The game-makers at the non-profit GlassLab are hoping to do this with the popular video game SimCity.

How Emotional Connections Can Trigger Creativity and Learning

Scientists are always uncovering new ways into how people learn best, and some of the most recent neuroscience research has shown connections between basic survival functions, social and emotional reactions to the world, and creative impulses.

Montag, 4. März 2013

Txtng Rules

 Anne Curzan
Two weeks ago I gave a talk to a group of University of Michigan at Ann Arbor undergraduates called “Txtng and the Future of English.” As a linguist who studies the history of the English language, I reassured the students that they are not ruining the English language, no matter what they hear from their parents or teachers or other trustworthy and concerned authorities. Some of the students looked gratified by this alternate perspective; others looked skeptical.

Montag, 17. Dezember 2012

35 Modern Words Recently Added to the Dictionary

The Oxford Dictionary Online is a warehouse of over 600,000 words. Despite this large arsenal, we continue to coin, clip, and blend new words into existence, and the Oxford folks pump some of these new words into their dictionaries. Here are some more recent additions with their official definitions.
1. Bling (n): Expensive, ostentatious clothing and jewelry.
2. Bromance (n):
A close but non-sexual relationship between two men.
3. Chillax (v):
Calm down and relax.

Read the full text here: