linguistics
University Researchers Want Us To Use ‘Forgotten’ Words

Presumably fed up with the youth of today using txt spk and nonsense slang, a team of academics at University of York have dug up a list of old words that they hope to see getting used again. Read More >>

language
Researchers Are Sorry They Used ‘Derpy’ in a Research Paper

Much like the universally true advice to “never tweet,” it’s probably a good idea to just avoid internet language and memes when you’re working in a professional capacity. Two well-intentioned researchers learned that the hard way recently when they didn’t do enough research on the term “derpy.” Read More >>

movies
You’ll Only Catch Okja’s Best Joke If You Speak Both English and Korean

Of the many jokes sprinkled throughout director Bong Joon-ho’s newest film, Okja, there’s one in particular that’s designed to capture the spirit of the movie while also flying under the radar for anyone watching it who isn’t fluent in Korean and English. Read More >>

language
These Are the Colours that Words Make When Used as Hex Code

Hexadecimal format allows us to instruct a computer to display a colour using three or six characters. For example, #000 will produce black. But how many words can be created in Hex and what colours do they produce? One intrepid programmer has tackled this problem so that we don’t have to. Read More >>

language
Swearing While Exercising Makes You Stronger

That internal voice you have that swears at everything all the time like your life is a Quentin Tarantino movie but without so much sexy foot action? It's helping. It's helping you to exercise better according to scientists, who found that muttering and continually saying rude words elevates physical performance. Read More >>

language
Icelanders Worry That Voice Commands Will Kill Their Native Language

Iceland has long had a progressive outlook on technology. It’s regularly high on lists of the best countries for data privacy, the Pirate Party has a substantial place in its government, and it was the headquarters of Wikileaks for a long time. But Icelanders are currently concerned that their native language could go the way of the dodo due to the cultural changes that tech is accelerating. Read More >>

language
‘Sonic Screwdriver’ Breaks Time and Space in Order to Be Added to the Oxford English Dictionary

Just ahead of Saturday's series premiere of Doctor Who, the good people at the OED had a little tie-in to announce: “sonic screwdriver,” the Doctor’s multipurpose magic tool, is getting its own entry. Read More >>

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The Real Life Languages Behind Dothraki, Kingon And Na’vi

Erik Singer is a dialect coach, and in this video he takes a look at the real life language inspiration behind the fictional languages of Na'vi, Dothraki, Klingon, Sindarin, Parseltongue, Ewokese, Shyriiwook, Divine Language, Mork Speak, Groot Speak, Malkovich, Furbish and Heptapod. Read More >>

uber
London’s Uber Drivers Will Have to Take an English Exam

Uber has lost a court case in which it wanted to stop its London drivers -- and all private hire drivers working in the city -- from being forced to take English language tests, so now the fleet of semi-casual carsmiths must take some sort of writing test to see if they can perform to the required level of offensive chit-chat. Read More >>

comics
Listen to Stephen Fry and Watchmen’s Dave Gibbons Discuss the Art of Sound on Comic Books

Vworp. Kapow. Biff, bang, pow! The onomatopoeic words we’ve seen splayed out across comic pages over the years are some of the most important parts (and iconic) of the medium. But how do artists and writers actually come up with the words? For legendary Watchmen artist Dave Gibbons, there’s a lot of fun involved. Read More >>

education
5 Cool Skills to Pick Up on a Lunch Break

If you often get the feeling there just aren’t enough hours in the day, then the lunch break your bosses should generously afford you could be one opportunity to make more of your time (and it beats listening to co-workers talking about sports you don’t watch). Give yourself thirty minutes a day five days a week and you could be well on your way to being a polymath by picking up one of these five skills. Read More >>

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An Actual Blacksmith Explains Why You Should Strike While the Iron Is Hot

You have to strike while the iron is hot. You can’t have too many irons in the fire. It has a nice ring to it. Go at something hammer and tongs. These are all idioms that have origins in blacksmithing, so Scott Wadsworth of Essential Craftsman decided to literally show us what all those idioms look like when performed in real life and explain how they are related to their meaning. Read More >>

language
This Tiny Coin Contains a Microscopic Archive of 1,000 Different Languages

If you want to ensure your files are safe, it’s a good idea to back them up in multiple places. And that’s the basic idea behind the Rosetta Wearable Disc. Printed in microscopic text on one side is an archive of 1,000 different human languages used in 2016. By producing multiple copies, language enthusiasts can ensure that there’s a better chance this archive will survive for centuries. Read More >>

science
How Would We Even Make First Contact with Aliens?

There are aliens out there (and if there aren’t any, it’s just more fun to believe that there are). But if they are out there, how do we find them? Once we find them, how do we contact them? And once we contact them, how do we actually communicate with them? Read More >>

language
Old Norse Sounds Like Elvish

Historical linguist Dr Jackson Crawford teaches Old Norse, and his YouTube videos are fascinating. Read More >>