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Popular Elsewhere

14:30 UK time, Wednesday, 21 September 2011

A look at the stories ranking highly on various news sites.

Slate headline 

"Brits have been whining about 'Americanisms' at least since 1781", starts a widely emailed Slate article. Indeed, it points out that American words taken on by British people were listed by the BBC this summer. But Ben Yagoda bites back, arguing "it may shock you to learn that British words and expressions have, of late, been worming their way into the American lexicon as much as the other way around". He's been listing this invasion of "Britishisms" in US news in a blog:

"Advert (instead of advertisement or ad), bespoke, bits (instead of parts), brilliant, called (instead of named), chat show, chat up, cheers, a coffee, cookery, DIY, early days, fishmonger, full stop (instead of period, as in the punctuation mark), ginger (a red-haired person), gobsmacked, had got (instead of gotten), Hoover (as a verb), in future, keen on, kerfuffle, mobile (as in mobile phone), on holiday, one-off, posh, presenter (a television host), queue, sell-by date."
Independent headline 

It only takes one photo to haunt a celebrity for ever more, is the theory of a popular Independent piece. And in case these photos aren't haunting enough, the Independent have thoughtfully compiled a photo album to remind us of the photos it says politicians and musicians should be cringing at. Most recently, it says the street cred of former Blur bassist Alex James is seriously damaged by his photo with David Cameron and Jeremy Clarkson. But another picked out is Barack Obama giving a thumbs-up in a picture with Silvio Berlusconi back in 2009.

Time headline 

At a time when Germany has been working closely with Greece to avoid it defaulting on its debt, a popular Time article asks if Germany actually owes Greece money. The loan stretches back to the World War II. Time says 476 million reichsmarks were lent against Greece's will to Germany by the Greek National Bank during the war. Time's calculations say in today's money it would amount to $14bn (£8.9bn). But with 3% interest per year, that would come to at least $95bn (£60.6bn). The article suggests the precedent giving the money back would set is bound to mean it would never happen.


Alexis Madrigal reminisces about being an 11-year-old computer geek in a well hit Atlantis article. But a look back at the social network he used to spend hours on in the early 90s unearths something surprising: despite being on the internet, there's almost no archive to be found. It all gets him wondering whether more is to be lost:

"Looking at the desolation that is Friendster or MySpace, I wonder how it's possible that digital objects can end up looking like ruins. But they do. Perhaps more interesting questions than 'Will Facebook fade out like MySpace?' are 'What would the ruins of Facebook look like? What would we put on its tombstone?'"


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