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Linguistics Science

Shifting linguistics: how we mimic those around us

Have you ever been on holiday, or been with a group of friends, or at a new workplace, and found that your accent or way of speaking has changed? Maybe you’ve started using slang terms you’d never even heard of before, or the initial words that come to your mind are something different than the […]

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Features Lifestyle

Certificates, eating pattern corrections and learning balance: what Lockdown had taught me

Lockdown: a time when shops are shut, summer plans are cancelled, scholarships and semesters abroad whooshed away so fast that it’s hard to make sense of this strange new world of masks, avoidance on pavements and worry for the future. And yet, lockdown has also given me the time for me to learn to slow […]

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Comment

The role of language in national identity

“A court of human rights cannot allow itself to suffer from historical Alzheimer’s. It has no right to disregard the cultural continuum of a nation’s flow through time, nor to ignore what over the centuries served to mould and define the profile of a people…No supranational court has any business substituting its own ethical mock-ups […]

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Features

Apu and the future of diverse representation

Last week it was announced that long-standing ‘Simpsons’ actor, Hank Azaria, would step down from his role as Apu Nahasapeemapetilon, after 30 years voicing the Indian immigrant owner of the Kwik-E-Mart. The Simpsons is the longest-running American sitcom, known for its satirical portrayal of American life. When it began, it was praised for finding a niche […]

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Comment Student Experience

Let’s talk about prescriptivists

I learned English when I was 11. It took me about six months to pick up, really, because I moved to the United States, enrolled in a regular American school and hence had no other choice. The television was in English and my step-dad spoke English and every book in the school was written in […]

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Science

Bilingualism: a new magic bullet?

Dr Thomas Bak is a reader at the University of Edinburgh School of Philosophy, Psychology and Languages Sciences. He is an expert in cognitive neuroscience, particularly in relation to language and cognition. On 7 December 2017, he discussed the cognitive benefits of learning more than one language. Having spent the first 20 years of his […]

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Science Science

Can language rewire the way we think?

Denis Villeneuve’s science fiction movie, Arrival, explores the possibilities of the long-standing and controversial theory that language shapes the way you think. When an alien spaceship lands on Earth, a top linguist is sent in to ask what the aliens want. The aliens use a non-linear language structure and perceive time differently to humans. As […]

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Technology

U wot m8? How the internet is altering our language

Modern technology, and the impact it has on language, has been the subject of increasing debate over the past two decades. Smart phones and their associated messaging systems are a prominent part of modern interaction; a December report by Bloomberg found that eight trillion text messages were sent last year. For some, this engenders concern […]