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Posts in Language

Impacts and effects: an affecting tale

So Michael Gove has apparently been using his new position as Justice Secretary to dash off memos to civil servants about the use of English, has he? The BBC has chosen to comment in particular on his exhortation to avoid the use of “impact” as a verb; for example, “But how will these policies impact

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Wampanoag – back from the grave

A few weeks ago, I promised you a story about a language that rose from the dead. Well, our linguistic Lazarus is in fact the indigenous American tongue of Wampanoag, also known by such other names as Wôpanâak and “Massachusett language”. And yes, there’s a clue in the latter moniker – it was once the

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Leigh Halfpenny’s close shave (or not)

Would you pay a fortune hiring a world-renowned star performer for your team and then leave him to fend for himself in a new world he doesn’t fully understand? We’ve blogged on exactly this subject before, but evidence continues to emerge that rugby clubs are just as bad as their footy counterparts when it comes

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Endangered language? Hooray!

“Critically endangered” doesn’t sound like anything much to boast about – but if you’re talking about the Cornish language, then it’s time to break out the bunting and uncork the champers. Up until December 2010, it was listed by UNESCO’s Atlas of the World’s Languages in Danger as “extinct”, so this would appear to be

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Zuckerberg’s Great Wall of cynicism?

So the BBC are being their usual snarky selves about Mark Zuckerberg’s latest Mandarin exploit – a Chinese New Year speech in, yes, Chinese. Rather than lauding Zuck’s obvious linguistic achievement, Auntie chooses to lead with the insinuation that the whole thing was little more than a publicity stunt to butter up a country in

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