Since everybody is interested in language, linguistics issues regularly appear in the media. This year, we’re going to comment on the linguistics issues that crop up in the news.
Media coverage of linguistics topics is often based on the findings of research which has been carried out somewhere in the world, but the details can sometimes be overlooked or get simplified as the story is passed from news outlet to outlet, so we’ll try to point this out where we can, and we’ll also post a link to more information, where possible, and the academic paper, so readers can follow up the original work.
Sometimes media coverage highlights some widely held perception of language, perhaps based on a myth or stereotype, and this is interesting too, even if it strays a little (or, perhaps, a lot) from linguistic fact. We’ll comment on these news items as well, and point out the assumptions and myths behind them, where appropriate.
Linguistics is a large research area with many different subfields, and we can’t hope to cover all the news items that appear, but we’ll do our best to post regularly!
We’ll put each post under the menu ‘What is Linguistics’ and give it an extra tag: ‘Language in the news’ (you’ll see the tags at the bottom of each related post – click on the tag to see all posts of the same type). To keep up to date with this section of the blog, you can use the direct link below:
You’ll see there is already a post about “The most annoying word of 2012“.
If you spot interesting linguistic things in the media, let us know (via Facebook, https://www.facebook.com/UCLinguistics) and we’ll take a look.