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Articles on Language

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Children begin to learn grammar well before they start school, when they craft their first short sentences. RonTech2000/iStock via Getty Images Plus

Why does grammar matter?

Grammar isn't a way to bully people for making mistakes, says a longtime English instructor. It is a way to understand how our language operates, in all its many written and spoken varieties.
While government-level relations are important, nothing beats personal contacts for building strong ties between Australia and India. AP/AAP

6 unis had Hindi programs. Soon there could be only 1, and that’s not in Australia’s best interests

Hindi is the most widely spoken language of India and of the many people of Indian origin in Australia. The teaching of Hindi has been in decline at a time when the need for it has never been greater.
Children in the live audience of ‘Howdy Doody’ were seated in what was known as the peanut gallery. NBC Television via wikimedia.org

The complicated origin of the expression ‘peanut gallery’

Remember the 'peanut gallery' from the 'Howdy Doody' show? That term, like many others we commonly use, has surprisingly controversial origins.
Talking politics increasingly seems like an exercise in talking past one another. GeorgePeters/Getty Images

Fox News viewers write about ‘BLM’ the same way CNN viewers write about ‘KKK’

Using machine learning to study over 85 million YouTube comments, a research team has, for the first time, identified linguistic differences among cable news viewers.
The coronavirus forced the editors of the Oxford English Dictionary to break with tradition. Illustration by Anurag Papolu/The Conversation; dictionary photo by Spauln via Getty Images and model of COVID-19 by fpm/iStock via Getty Images

How COVID-19 is changing the English language

Updates to the Oxford English Dictionary provide a fascinating glimpse into how language changes in the face of rapid and unprecedented social and economic disruption.

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