Monthly Archives: February 2012

Romantic lines from literature

Today is leap day, the extra day we get every four years. It’s also traditionally the day that women get to propose to men! If you’re not quite at that stage with your sweetie, perhaps you could instead try some of the most romantic lines from literature on him, aided by this handy interactive guide […]


Animated linguistics

Steven Pinker is a well-known linguist (amongst other things), with specializations in visual cognition and psycholinguistics. He’s also very good at making complex ideas seem very understandable and engaging, which is why I love this video illustrating a talk he gave to the RSA (Royal Society for the encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce in […]


Ark for endangered languages

A new hub for endangered languages has been set up on the Internet. Described as an “ark”, the site features eight “talking dictionaries” featuring dying languages from around the world. The dictionaries feature photos of cultural objects, written words and audio recordings of native speakers pronouncing words and sentences in their language. Some languages are […]


American expressions Brits don’t understand

Whilst visiting the states last month, I discovered there’s a lot of things Americans don’t understand about the British (one being the difference between England, Britain and the UK). But there’s also a lot the British don’t understand about Americans. BBC America has compiled a list of five American expressions Brits don’t understand. Here are […]


Goats have accents too

A new study has revealed that pygmy goats have accents. Their accent is based on the group or “crèche” they were brought up in, rather than genetics, as was previously thought. Researchers from the University of London believe that the goats are displaying the first signs of evolutionary development in language. As goat kids age, […]


Get learning – age is no excuse

One of the most often heard excuses for not learning a new language is “I’m too old”. It’s generally accepted that children are ‘better’ at learning new languages than adults. A new study challenges this idea though, showing that adults are better than children at acquiring a new language skill. The issue may be social […]


Why the Super Bowl is the Super Bowl

Little bit behind this on this, since the Super Bowl happened last weekend, but at least we’ll all be prepared with some trivia for next year! Over at the Boston Globe, Erin McKean has investigated why the Super Bowl is called the “Super” rather than the “Totally Awesome Game that Lots of People Watch” (I […]