Articles on Language

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The most expensive punctuation in the world… Gayle Dee/Flickr

Grammarians rejoice in the $10 million comma

A badly written law cost a US company US$10 million, when a judge ruled that a comma missing from a statute meant 75 truck drivers were owed four years of unpaid overtime wages.
Children at school in Mali, which is among the countries that’s prioritised mother tongue education. United Nations Photo/Flickr

Lessons from Africa prove the incredible value of mother tongue learning

Over the years, our understanding of how language and learning are linked has shifted and changed. There is ample evidence about the value of mother-tongue-based multilingual education.
Children around the world are susceptible to stereotypes. World Bank Photo Collection

Combatting stereotypes: How to talk to your children

For young children, how we speak is often more important than what we say. Even 'positive' generalizations can lead children to adopt negative stereotypes.
Are contemporary insults as witty as the scorn of the past? Ollyy/www.shutterstock.com

Review: the fine art of scorn from Twain to Trump

Scorn has a long and humorous history. But a new book on the subject, featuring quotes from Kanye West, Christopher Hitchens and of course, Donald Trump, rather lacks contemporary wit.

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