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12.31.14 Prachi Gupta

Black Mirror’s technology is could soon be real, and virtual reality is coming to the internet, so perhaps it’s fitting that the most popular word of the year was not a word at all, but the heart emoji. Obviously there are plenty of “most popular word lists” of 2014, so take this with a grain […]

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10.23.14 Prachi Gupta

Jesse Eisenberg is starring in a new movie that uses Brooklyn’s Red Hook as a backdrop for the war-torn Gaza Strip, but has recreated Palestinian propaganda posters without using proper Arabic. A scene set up on Thursday for Louder Than Bombs called for female actors wearing headscarves — presumably Palestinian Muslims — who were instructed […]

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01.14.14 Andy Cush

Researchers at the Georgia Institute of Technology analyzed the linguistics of tens of thousands of Kickstarter proposals over the year 2012, to find whether the words people use in their pitches impact whether or not they’re successfully funded. Their findings? You’re more likely to convince people to give you their money if you’re not a […]

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11.13.13 Lewd Linguist

Getting my first cell phone meant no more writing addresses on paper or calling boys from payphones. Typing was awkward, but we adapted by taking shortcuts that made gr8 use of the keypad. China got it a lot worse than us, having a romanization system that requires not only all 26 English letters but numbered […]

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07.10.13 Lewd Linguist

Two years ago, I went on a personal journey to Denmark, the world’s most underrated gay destination. Not only is Denmark the happiest country in the world, Danes report the largest average penis size and boast the highest ratio of bottoms to tops, according to Manhunt Daily. The most famous piece of Danish literature involves […]

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05.22.13 Andy Cush

At the Webby Awards last night, Steve Wilhite, creator of the GIF, used his lifetime achievement award acceptance speech to inform the public that his most famous invention is “pronounced JIF, not GIF.” He did so using a GIF, naturally. Wilhite is wrong. GIFs are GIFs, not JIFs, because “Graphics Interchange Format” starts with a hard […]

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05.08.13 Julia Dawidowicz

Language is constantly changing — if you were to travel just a few decades back in time and tell someone that, say, your boo’s got mad swag when she twerks in those jeggings, they’d look at you like you were batshit (there’s another one) — and that’s just within recent American English. And now, a […]

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03.26.13 Andy Cush

Every year, the Swedish Language Council chooses a set of new words to be inducted into the nation’s language, like a more official version of what Merriam-Webster does for English. This year, the words included köttrymd (fleshspace, the awesome Swedish version of IRL), brony (which means exactly what you think it does) and tårtgate (cakegate, the […]

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12.07.12 Andy Cush

The good people of WNYC (who have been killing it lately) bring you this nice-looking graph of the languages spoken by New York City residents. Using Census Bureau information, they plotted each language based on how many New Yorkers speak it at home and how many of its speakers are also proficient in English. Perhaps […]

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