Ben Birchall/PA Wire
Skepta's Mercury Prize win has put grime – and youth culture – in the spotlight.
Freedom of speech is valuable, but we should always be mindful of how words can wound.
If we're serious about freedom of speech, we need a more open and respectful discussion about words that cause insult and offence.
Humans co-opted the anatomical structures for breathing and chewing to create speech.
Humans have invented many technologies to survive better – spears, pots, calculators, even language. With language, however, the raw material used to fashion the technology is the human body itself.
Urdu-language maxims adorn a school in the Swat Valley, Pakistan.
India and Pakistan wanted to replace colonial English with national languages after independence. The process is still far from over.
One South African school issues ‘demerits’ if their pupils speak anything but English.
David Ritchie/Cape Argus
Schools and universities in post-colonial contexts still operate within the logic of coloniality. This is starkly illustrated by their language policies.
…and Red Little Riding Hood.
The use of adjectives in English has caused an internet storm – here are the 'rules' explained.
The biggest issue is still getting the kids to eat them.
When botany and linguistics collide: pumpkins are fruits and there's technically no such thing as a vegetable. But try telling that to a five-year-old and see how far you get.
Our relationships, desires, anxieties are reflected in the way we communicate.
A "passion" was once thought of as a love or desire so irresistible as to take one to the threshold of death. What are we to make, then, of a passion for innovation or management consulting? What's happening to our words?
Some argue that it would be impossible to understand an alien language, as it wouldn't have the same grammar as humans use. But others are more optimistic.
“Apparently you’ve got some kind of a troll problem?”
Sony Pictures/Columbia Pictures
500m posts are made daily on Twitter alone. Policing them is no easy task.
All hail the ‘silver surfer’. But other terms used to describe older Australians are not so complimentary.
Our mixed feelings about ageing are clearly revealed in the language we use to talk about it.
And you thought it just indicated the end of a sentence…
"Dots" via www.shutterstock.com
For centuries, written communication was tinged with formality and finality. But since the emergence of casual forms like texting, using proper grammar can be fraught with misinterpretation.
Those who object to sexist jokes or other forms of offensive language are often accused of being wowsers, of trying to silence free speech.
What impact can offensive language have? Is it really a case of 'political correctness gone mad'?
Do you remember playing with the red wheel or do you remember a picture of you playing with it?
Language, culture and brain development all contribute to 'childhood amnesia'.
Brave new world? We should embrace language that gets things done.
Going forward, perhaps we ought to cut office patois some slack – it greases the wheels of business, after all.
Jamie Milpurr translates archived stories told by his grandfather Frank Ambidjambidj with help from his grandmother Margaret Marlingarr. The stories were told in Kun-barlang, a language spoken on Goulburn Island with 20 speakers remaining.
A clever proces similar to Google's image search is helping to preserve some of the world's 7,000 languages that are at risk of disappearing.
The Cornish language is part of the land.
Funding cuts could finally decimate one of Britain's oldest surviving languages.
Facial expressions may be a universal language. Where does that leave people with facial paralysis?
Icerko Lýdia via Wikimedia Commons
What happens when the face is no longer the primary means of expression?
How good are people at interpreting a cat’s meow?
'Cats' via www.shutterstock.com
While cats – with their steely demeanor – have a reputation of being hard to read, humans seem intent on figuring out what they're thinking and feeling.
Intelligent machines are getting better at understanding our conversation.
Human communication is complex, rich in nuances and frequently includes non-verbal signs. That's a challenge if you want an intelligent machine to be part of the conversation.