Episode 10: Who Owns English?

Episode 10: Who Owns English?

For our final episode, Babel goes global. English is now spoken by about two billion people, more than a third of the world's population. As English expands in countries such as India, China and South Africa, regional varities are emerging. And it's not surprising. Most conversations in English nowadays occur between people who speak it as a second, third or fourth language. That's because there are four times as many non-native speakers in the world as native speakers, and they're developing their own standards and lexicons. Babel wraps up its summer series by asking: Who owns English, and why does it matter?

Read More »

Listen

Episode 9: Jargon

Episode 9: Jargon
Supratentorial, bond yields, overclocking...we hear jargon everywhere, every day from doctors to economists to computer experts. Sometimes it feels like a completely different language, and if we don't have the fluency, we can be shut out. But if we do learn the lingo, it can help us feel included. We'll explore two major areas where we can feel inhibited when we don't know the jargon: our health and our finances. Then we'll take a trip to the technology store where knowing the lingo can be a lifeline. Jargon: does it help or hinder?

Read More »

Listen

Episode 8: Teaching English

Episode 8: Teaching English

Whether it's catering to both ESL and non-ESL students, finding new ways of teaching pronunciation, or adding video games to the classroom, English instruction in Canada is changing. We're asking: what's the best way to teach English?

Read More »

Listen

Punctuation Patrol

Punctuation Patrol

Mariel and Colleen hit the streets of Toronto to take a closer look at how we actually use punctuation. We inspected posters, signs and well, anything with writing. It turns out that we're pretty good at inserting commas and apostrophes as needed. But we did find some inspired punctuation usage.  

Read More »

Listen

Episode 7: Punctuation

Episode 7: Punctuation

Punctuation can help clarify what we mean -- even emphasize certain points. But with the proliferation of smart phones, tablets and Twitter, many of us are tapping out shorter messages faster, often tossing punctuation aside. Or, to make sure our message is noticed, we use punctuation excessively, using five exclamation points instead of one!!!!! Then there's the whole other group of graphic punctuation: emoticons. :-) We're asking how technology is changing the way we use punctuation, and where we're at in the punctuation evolution.

Read More »

Listen