Author Archives


Varieties of English

“A language is a dialect with an army and navy” Aphorism, unknown (first published by Max Weinreich) The previous two sections have dealt mostly with English spreading and changing over time. Now we will explore how changes of space, place and regional variations have created amazing linguistic diversity […]

The Spread of English

Of all the languages in the world, why has English become the world’s lingua franca? Marshall McLuhan coined the phrase ‘global village’ in the 1960s to refer to the way people were reaching out to connect with one another – but he could not have known at the time […]

The Origins of English

To study the history of English is to study its present and future. Understanding how language changes over time is one of the main outcomes of this section, and investigating the history of English could help you to understand the scope and depth of language change. The history of English […]

The Internet and the Future of the News

“TODAY’S TECHNOLOGY has bestowed miracles of access and convenience upon millions of people, and it’s also proven to be a vital new means of communication. Twitter has been used by Iranian dissidents; text messaging and social networking Web sites have been used to help coordinate humanitarian aid in Haiti; […]

Journalistic Writing

You have seen how the selection of stories can be influenced by the institutions of production and newsworthiness criteria. Now it is time to examine how conventional uses of journalistic language affects the presentation of news stories. The most important concepts in this section are emotive language, euphemism and vague language. Read the […]


“Events don’t get into the news by simply happening. They must fit in with what is already known… They must fulfill a certain number of criteria… must jostle for inclusion in the limited number of slots available.”  Hartley, 1982 Have you ever wondered why only bad news gets […]

Journalism and Bias

“The basic definition of news as factual information that its viewers need in order to participate in society is only half the story.”  Fiske, 1987 Many people might think that the news provides a window into the world, allowing you to understand what is going on everywhere, all […]