Common Core State Standard
SL.CCS.1/2/3/4 Grades 6-12: An essay of a current news event is provided for discussion to encourage participation, but also inspire the use of evidence to support logical claims using the main ideas of the article. Students must analyze background information provided about a current event within the news, draw out the main ideas and key details, and review different opinions on the issue. Then, students should present their own claims using facts and analysis for support.

FOR THE WEEK OF AUG. 04, 2008

Our language flexes and stretches, dictionary update shows

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Spoken language can be more colorful and inventive than formal writing. Find quotes in the paper that use English with verve, drama and flair.
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Slang doesn't belong in most school assignments, but it spices up conversation, entertainment and even the newspaper. Look for informal "street talk" or shorthand expressions in headlines, ads or elsewhere.
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Reporters and editors try to use generally recognized words or explain any that may be unfamiliar. Still, unusual jargon or brain-twisting terms can slip into print. Can you spot any? Try to figure out the definition based on the context and then check a reference source to see if you're right.

Given your vocabulary a workout lately? You probably have, even without knowing it. We exercise mental muscles by reaching past weak, tired words to grab vivid, fresher ones. Even your parents likely haven't said "sneakers" or "cassette" lately.

The living, changing status of English keeps dictionary publishers on their toes. About 100 new words and phrases are added to the 11th edition of Merriam-Webster's Collegiate Dictionary, going on sale Sept. 1. Newcomers include technology terms such as blogosphere, webinar and malware, everyday shorthand such as air quotes, the sport of kiteboarding and a phrase reflecting poker's popularity -- Texas Hold'em.

The refreshed dictionary also features fanboy, which describes a super-fan of a film or comic genre. Other additions come from changes in what Americans eat and drink. They include edamame (immature green soybeans) and pescatarian (a vegetarian whose diet includes fish).

Editor says: "The language has changed to adapt and acknowledge new technologies. Language adapts to society in every field, in every time. That is how it works." -- Peter Sokolowski, Merriam-Webster

Writer says: "Nothing can replace the words nerd or geek to describe an over-enthusiastic devotee, but fanboy helps narrow the field." - Michelle Kung, Wall Street Journal

Publisher says: "Webinar is one more example of the significant ongoing trend for electronic technologies to add words to the language." - John Morse, Merriam-Webster president/publisher

Front Page Talking Points is written by Felix Grabowski and Alan Stamm for NIEonline.com, Copyright 2014
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Front Page Talking Points Archive

E-cigarettes spark discussions about health benefits and teen use

Safety campaign combats distracted driving with dramatic ad, new website and #justdrive tag

White House posts climate change details at new website as part of push for action

Even President Obama is caught up in the NCAA basketball tournament’s March Madness

‘Cosmos’ science series on TV aims to show how ‘we’re all connected’

Sweeping changes will make the SAT more relevant and useful, College Board says

‘My Brother’s Keeper’ is Obama’s name for effort to help at-risk young men

This season of wicked weather brings above-normal ice coverage on all Great Lakes

Warm days make the last week of Olympic action in Russia seem like the Spring Games

Major drugstore chain will stop selling tobacco items as improper for a health retailer

Complete archive