2020: A Year in Language

Posted by Speakeasy News > Wednesday 02 December 2020 > In the News

It’s the traditional time of year for dictionary publishers to announce their “word of the year”. In a year dominated by the pandemic, Oxford Dictionaries decided to choose several, whereas Collins chose “lockdown” from a shortlist dominated by the health emergency. Merriam Webster in the States went with the word “pandemic” itself. Frequently-used words this … Continue reading “2020: A Year in Language”

Ding Dong!

Posted by Speakeasy News > Wednesday 03 June 2020 > Webpicks

Have you ever wondered why the sound of bells in English is rendered by “ding dong”? “Zig zag” or “Kit Kat” or “ping pong” are more examples of the same linguistic phenomenon, called “ablaut reduplication”. This short video explains the phenomenon, which isn’t only prevalent in English, it is also present in French, German and … Continue reading “Ding Dong!”

Word of the Year: Single-Use

Posted by Speakeasy News > Wednesday 12 December 2018 > In the News

Language is constantly changing and every year British dictionary publishers Collins likes to look back and see which words have dominated the national conversation. Not necessarily new words, but ones that have come to the fore. The Word of the Year 2018 is… “single-use”. It’s been in the news as more and more campaigners have … Continue reading “Word of the Year: Single-Use”

Happy English Language Day!

Posted by Speakeasy News > Friday 13 October 2017 > Celebrate

On 13 October 1362 the English Parliament was opened for the first time in English rather than Latin or Norman French. Which is why The English Project charity promotes 13 October as English Language Day. Their aim is to celebrate English as a living, evolving language spoken as a first or second language by 2 … Continue reading “Happy English Language Day!”

Computers Learn from the Language of Love

Posted by Speakeasy News > Friday 10 February 2017 > In the News

Reading romance novels is a relaxing activity for millions around the world. But could it also be a way for computers and robots to become more human? Researchers at Google’s Brain division have been feeding thousands of romance novels into working an artificial intelligence (AI) system to try to encourage the system used in search … Continue reading “Computers Learn from the Language of Love”