Linguistics study reveals our growing obsession with education

As children around the country go back to school, a new comparative study of spoken English reveals that we talk about education nearly twice as much as we did twenty years ago.

The study, which compares spoken English today with recordings from the 1990s, allows researchers at Cambridge University Press and Lancaster University to examine how the language we use indicates our changing attitudes to education.

They found that the topic of education is far more salient in conversations now, with the word cropping up 42 times per million words, compared with only 26 times per million in the 1990s dataset.

As well as talking about education more, there has also been a noticeable shift in the terms we use to describe it. Twenty years ago, the public used fact-based terms to talk about education, most often describing it as either full-time, or part-time.

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