1 2 3 4 5 Displaying 8-14 of 34 Articles

Award-winning educator Bob Greenman says teachers should promote pun-making in the classroom. "The pun is liberating," Greenman writes. "It says to students, you can make language do as you please. You can twist words to make them your own. You can make connections between two entirely different things and think on two planes at once. You can improvise language and play with words. Isn't that a great thing to help develop in students?"  Continue reading...
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Blog Excerpts

Shady Characters

In his new blog Shady Characters, Keith Houston seeks to tell "the unusual stories behind some well-known — and some rather more outlandish — marks of punctuation." Get started with the first of Houston's "typographic raconteurs," the pilcrow.
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In this week's worksheet, we celebrate George Washington's birthday with a Word Sort that helps students brush up on their parts of speech and some vocabulary associated with the holiday.  Continue reading...
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Wordquake!

Last week, a study was published tracking word frequencies on the blogosphere, and researchers found that certain words can have earthquake-like effects. The researchers, from the Medical University of Vienna, examined 168 political blogs in the United States and monitored spikes in word frequency. They discovered that some events can trigger influential "reverberations."  Continue reading...
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International Mother Language Day

Today is the 11th annual commemoration of International Mother Language Day. The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) asks the world community to celebrate linguistic diversity and the promotion of mother tongues. Read more from the United Nations here, and check out the LingEducator blog for ideas about classroom activities.
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There's a federal law that defines writing. Because the meaning of the words in our laws isn't always clear, the very first of our federal laws, the Dictionary Act--the name for Title 1, Chapter 1, Section 1, of the U.S. Code--defines what some of the words in the rest of the Code mean, both to guide legal interpretation and to eliminate the need to explain those words each time they appear. Writing is one of the words it defines, but the definition needs an upgrade.  Continue reading...
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The field of natural language processing doesn't usually get showcased in a widely watched game show, but that's exactly what happened on Jeopardy! over the last three evenings, as IBM's Watson supercomputer squared off against the two best humans ever to play the game. IBM had sunk tens of millions of dollars in research money to develop Watson over the past four years, and a loss would have been highly embarrassing. Luckily for IBM, and unluckily for the carbon-based life forms Ken Jennings and Brad Rutter, Watson came through with flying colors.  Continue reading...
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1 2 3 4 5 Displaying 8-14 of 34 Articles