David Crystal is honorary professor of linguistics at the University of Bangor, and works from his home in Holyhead, North Wales, as a writer, editor, lecturer, and broadcaster. He read English at University College London, specialized in English language studies, then joined academic life as a lecturer in linguistics, first at Bangor, then at Reading, where he became professor of linguistics. He received an OBE for services to the English language in 1995. His books include The Cambridge Encyclopedia of the English Language and The Stories of English. Internet Linguistics: A Student Guide and The Story of English in 100 Words were published in 2011, and Spell it out: the singular story of English spelling in 2012.
The world in which we live in: Beatles, blends and blogs
The language of popular music is a great source of data for ELT, especially because of its motivating force among young people - and the not so young, for older people remember the pop songs of their youth with accuracy and nostalgia. Pop songs are also one of the most ubiquitous manifestations of English as a global language, so it is not surprising to see them often used in ELT classrooms. But there has been relatively little analysis of the kind of English that they contain. As we are in Liverpool, this talk uses the songs of the Beatles to illustrate some interesting features of phonology, syntax, and lexis, and finds trends that go well beyond pop lyrics. Blogs, in particular, display interesting similarities in usage which can be significantly different from other modes of written expression.