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Barb's Bits and Bytes

Web 2.0 for learning and teaching - the continuing online adventures of a not-so-techie teacher

May 27, 2011

Geeky Fun for Language Lovers

My name is Barbara, and I'm a language geek.

I love everything about language--using it, studying it, teaching it, listening to it, reading it, and playing with it. The Internet makes it even easier to indulge my inner word nerd. Today I want to share a few of my favorite language-related sites.

Did you know that English loses hundreds of words every year? If saving neglected words is one of your vanmost goals, I quaeritate you to go on a little rivation trip on Save the Words, powered by the Oxford English Dictionary. You can find words to adopt and use. (I adopted vanmost, quaeritate, and rivation--you can look the meanings up on the website, too!)


Brad Patterson may be an even bigger language geek than I am--he is certainly more knowledgeable! If you enjoy browsing the Oxford English Dictionary (and honestly, who doesn't enjoy browsing 20 volumes of etymology?) you'll enjoy Brad's blog, A Journée in Language. I always look forward his posts about the history of words (and he is much easier to read than the OED).

If you like playing with graphic language visualizations, you'll have fun playing with Wordle. You can copy and paste any text (a poem, a story, your dissertation, class survey results, etc.) into the word cloud generator and create a beautiful graphic. It's also a great way to for check main idea since the size of words in the cloud is based on their frequency in your text.

You can also copy and paste a website address and get a picture (literally) of what you'll see on that site. This is what my blog, Teaching Village, looks like as a word cloud:


It's pretty easy to see what my guest authors and I generally write about! I got the idea for creating a blog word cloud from a workshop Dave Dodgson recently did for Virtual Round Table. If you're interested in learning more about this fun tool, I recommend watching the archived recording of Dave's workshop, Not Just a Pretty Cloud: Using Wordle in the Language Learning Classroom.

It's easy to get lost on the Lexiophiles website--they have a ton of stuff for language geeks. The Topics Overview Page is a good place to start if you've never visited Lexiophiles before. I've recently enjoyed reading about loan words in different languages and idioms around the world.

Lexiophiles also curates lists of language related blogs and podcasts. The lists are compiled annually, and ranked by popularity (as determined by votes), and are a great place to discover some language treats. This year, Lexiophiles has added language-related Facebook pages and Twitterers to the lists.

Note: Voting for this year's Language Lovers continues through Sunday, May 29th. Brad Patterson and Oxford Dictionaries have both been nominated as top language Twitterers, and Teaching Village has been nominated as one of the top language learning blogs. If you'd like to vote for Brad (@brad5patterson) or for Oxford Dictionaries (@OxfordWords), you can do so here , and if you'd like to vote for Teaching Village, you can do so here. If you don't like voting in competitions like this, or you decide to support someone else, that's fine, too. But do visit Lexiophiles' lists to explore some great language-geeky gems!

What other websites can you recommend for the language geeks among us? Please share your favorites in comments. Thanks!

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This is a fun site. I'll definitely adopt a forsaken word. I've been reading a lot of Christopher Hitchens recently and I think this must be where he gets a lot of his wonderful vocabulary. His favourite seems to be "crepuscular" which he somehow manages to use every 5,000 words or so... (it means s "of, resembling, or relating to twilight").

I love Save the Words! I get a kick out of hearing the words asking me to pick them--reminds me of teaching young learners :-)

I'm impressed with anyone who can work crepuscular into a conversation, even with 5000 words between uses!

Thanks for introducing me to another great word!

Hi, try, its free for language teachers and students to register their profiles and message each other. No dating stuff, no adverts, no junk.

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