Torie Gordon

474 Flips | 19 Magazines | 35 Followers | @TorieGordon | English teacher. Language lover. Coffee drinker.

Inescapably, You’re Judged By Your Language

From the first time we step into an English class, we’re told that the rules matter, that they must be followed, that we must know when it’s appropriate to use a comma and what it means to employ the subjunctive mood. But do these things <i>really</i> matter? Outside of the classroom, what difference does …

Language

Behemoth, bully, thief: how the English language is taking over the planet

No language in history has dominated the world quite like English does today. Is there any point in resisting? By Jacob Mikanowski<p>On 16 May, a lawyer named Aaron Schlossberg was in a New York cafe when he heard several members of staff speaking Spanish. He reacted with immediate fury, threatening …

Language

Proto-Indo-European: The mother of all languages ​​emerged in the Russian steppes 6,500 years ago

The mother of all languages ​​emerged in the Russian steppes 6,500 years. A statistical study using data from more than 150 languages ​​indicates a …

Linguistics

Starbucks is opening its first "signing store," where all employees will be fluent in sign language

Starbucks is taking a major step forward in serving the deaf community. This fall, Starbucks will open its first all-signing store, where all …

Employment

Footage of sole survivor of Amazon tribe emerges

Remarkable footage has been released of an uncontacted indigenous man who has lived alone in an Amazon forest for at least 22 years.<p>Semi-naked and swinging an axe vigorously as he fells a tree, the man, believed to be in his 50s, has never been filmed so clearly before and appears to be in …

Ethnology

Language alters our experience of time

It turns out, Hollywood got it half right. In the film Arrival, Amy Adams plays linguist Louise Banks who is trying to decipher an alien language. …

Outlook, Office, Skype, Bing, Breaking News, and Latest Videos

Join Rewards and earn points when you explore and search on MSN.<p>See your recent documents, or start one for free with Office Online.<p>Sign in to your …

What 'Arrival' got right about communicating with space aliens

If aliens make contact, like in the 2016 film, we'll need to know how to respond — and what to say.<p>If earthlings ever make contact with intelligent space aliens, will we be able to understand them? We use a language of spoken and written words, of course, but aliens might use numbers, shapes, tones …

How many words do you need to speak a language?

<b>Learning a new language can be tricky, but how many words do you need to know before you can actually get by in a foreign tongue?</b><p>That was the question posed to BBC Radio 4's More or Less programme by one frustrated listener. Despite learning German for three years, and practising nearly every day, …

Language Learning

How your accent is really formed

In some circles, saying “afternoon” instead of “arvo” is a cardinal sin. In others you’d be considered lowbrow if you didn’t pronounce ev-e-ry …

A definitive guide on how to pronounce Melbourne suburb names

Move to Melbourne, and one of the first things you’ll learn (maybe besides how to read a tram timetable) is how to say some of our tongue-twister …

Theme song gains local flavour

Basically, I went back to the footy club and said ‘what I’d love to do is get our theme song done in the local Arrernte language’<p>MUSICIAN Warren H …

Eurovision 2018: Are you more likely to win if you sing in English?

This year the Eurovision Song Contest 2018 grand final is on Saturday, May 12 in Lisbon, Portugal.<p>Eurovision 2017 saw Salvador Sobral of Portugal win …

Can English remain the 'world's favourite' language?

<b>English is spoken by hundreds of millions of people worldwide, but do the development of translation technology and "hybrid" languages threaten its status?</b><p>Which country boasts the most English speakers, or people learning to speak English?<p>The answer is China.<p>According to a study published by …

Terribly sorry – but Britain’s famed politeness may be a myth

Research shows that English speakers are rather keen on saying thank you. But are we really expressing our gratitude?<p>In 2015, Simeon Floyd, then of the Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics, gave a lecture in Antwerp about expressions of gratitude in eight cultures around the world. I was …

Linguistics

Ignore the headlines: you can learn a new language - at any age

A good example for this is the fact that, in English, most verbs have to have an “s” added to them in the third person singular: so it’s …

Wordplay: Optimalizing pet peeves, monumentously

In goat-getting terms, I can't hack most abstract coinages, dross like problematization or skillwiseness. Whereas dual transitivity (seeing such …

Babies prefer 'talking' to other babies over adults

Few sounds are more delightful than a baby's sweet voice. But baby tones not only enrapture us. New research suggests other babies enjoy hearing them …

Pregnancy

The way you see colour depends on what language you speak

The human eye can physically perceive millions of colours. But we don’t all recognise these colours in the same way.<p>Some people can’t see differences …

Emoji 'ruining people's grasp of English' because young rely on them to communicate

Emoji are ruining the English language because young people rely on them to communicate, research by Google has found.<p>Over a third of British adults believe that emoji are to blame for the deterioration of the English language, according to new research.<p>YouTube, the video sharing website owned by …

Language

Australians struggle to pronounce the word 'Australia' correctly

When people learn the ABC has a pronunciation database — and that part of my job is to attend to its upkeep — the emails they send in are not always …

Language

Millennials destroyed the rules of written English – and created something better

The spelling and grammar rules do not apply on the Millennial Internet™.<p>That's because millennials have created a new rulebook for a variant of …

Indigenous languages come from just one common ancestor, researchers say

After decades of debate, Australian researchers say they have finally proven a theory that all Indigenous languages descend from one common …

Language revival preserving history

So the following year the two-year study program at Nyamba Buru Yawuru, which is the operating arm of the Yawuru Native Title holders’ member …

Who do you think you're apostrophising? The dark side of grammar pedantry

He’s been called “punctuation’s answer to Banksy”. A self-styled grammar vigilante who spends his nights surreptitiously correcting apostrophes on …

The horror and pleasure of misused words: from mispronunciation to malapropisms

American film director Judd Apatow once confessed to Stephen Colbert that he’d been mispronouncing his wife Leslie Mann’s name for nearly two …

Text-messaging isn’t, like, ruining young people’s grammar

If you think that young people seem to be spending more of their time “face-to-screen” than “face-to-face”, you’re probably right. And a lot of that …

The Americans are destroying the English language – or are they?

In 1995 Prince Charles caused a ruckus when he lamented the unchecked spread of American English – and the effect of American usage is one that’s …

Should you be using 'less' or 'fewer'?

As anyone who writes "Oxford comma enthusiast" in their Twitter bio will gladly tell you, English possesses quite a few rules.<p>One of these rules …

Linguistics

Gene Weingarten: Leading the fight against mispronunciations

I recently ran into trouble for pointing out a misspelling online. It surprised me because I’ve been doing that sort of thing for years without blowback — mostly to mock conservatives bearing idiot signs. (“Respect Are Country: Speak English,”“Obama Half-Breed Muslin,” “1 Man + 1 Woman = …