Google Blog: How do you pronounce quokka? Practice with Search. “First, we’re launching a new experimental pronunciation feature that lets you practice word pronunciations right in Search. For the visual learners out there, we’re adding images to our English dictionary and translation features to help you better understand the meaning of a word.”
The Guardian: ‘Climate strike’ named 2019 word of the year by Collins Dictionary. “In a year when global protests over the climate crisis were staged from Afghanistan to Vietnam, Extinction Rebellion demonstrations stopped traffic in major cities and Greta Thunberg called for young people to skip school to fight political inaction, ‘climate strike’ has been named Collins Dictionary’s 2019 word of the year.”
Ars Technica: Because Internet makes a linguist’s case for l33t speak, other online-text fads. “The Internet has done good things to the English language. That’s the most important thing linguist Gretchen McCulloch has to say in her book, Because Internet: Understanding the New Rules of Language. Though many prominent opinion-havers rage about the imminent death of the English language at the hands of emoji-wielding teenagers, the Internet has done no more harm to English than television, radio, or dime novels.”
Newswise: What 26,000 books reveal when it comes to learning language. “What can reading 26,000 books tell researchers about how language environment affects language behavior? Brendan T. Johns, an assistant professor of communicative disorders and sciences in the University at Buffalo’s College of Arts and Sciences, has some answers that are helping to inform questions ranging from how we use and process language to better understanding the development of Alzheimer’s disease.”
Lifehacker: ‘Misinformation’ and ‘Disinformation’ Are Not the Same Thing. “If the past three years have seemed more like 300, the coming year is really about to test us all. The countdown to the 2020 election is about to begin and we’ve got to prepare ourselves for the onslaught of misinformation and disinformation—and it’s important to know the difference. Because they’re not the same thing.” A very short writeup about a pet peeve of mine. I hope she does one on the difference between data breaches and data leaks, because if you left a front-facing MongoDB instance on the Web, that was damn well not a data breach as opposed to a data leak.
The Daily Universe: BYU Law creates language database to help interpret Constitution. BYU is Brigham Young University. “This database is called the Corpus of Founding Era American English, also known as COFEA. ‘Corpus’ refers to a collection of written texts on a particular subject. The corpus holds founding-era documents that can be used by legal professionals for free as a tool to make educated legal decisions.”
BBC: Simples, whatevs and Jedi added to Oxford English Dictionary. “Whatevs, simples, chillax, sumfin and Jafaican have been added to the Oxford English Dictionary. They are among 203 new words which appear in the dictionary for the very first time. Other words which are part of the October 2019 update include Jedi, nomophobia and easy-breezy.” And omnishambles!