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language

  1. Weird

    You Guys? English Is a Really Messed Up Language [Video]

    This video by AsapTHOUGHT, the companion channel to AsapSCIENCE, is more about colloquialisms and grammar oddities than it is about the inherent inconsistences of the English language. That being said, my brain still hurts from all of this thinking about words. And it rhymes, too!

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  2. Weird

    The French Language Police Exist And Would Like You To Stop Using “ASAP” ASAP

    Just because the Oxford Dictionary made "selfie" word of the year doesn't mean every language is so lax with their standards. The French even have their own word police, the Académie Française, who tell people which words are okay to use and which are as passé as "freedom fries." Their most recent target? The abbreviation "ASAP."

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  3. Weird

    The French Language Now Has Its Own Word For Sexting: “Textopornographie”

    Languages borrow from each other all the time -- English, for example, is mostly an amalgamation of Latin, German, French, and Norse. The French language, though? It's not having any of that cross-contamination stuff. So when new technology words float over from the English language, French likes to shut it down by making up their own versions.

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  4. Weird

    Researchers Have Found That “Huh” Is One of the Most Universal Words in Human Language

    If someone says something you don't understand, it's common to reply with, "Huh?" but we didn't realize just how common. It's so common that it's universal, say a team of researchers. They examined conversations in ten different languages, and "Huh?" or something very similar shows up in all of them.

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  5. Science

    Singing in a Foreign Language Helps You Learn Better Than Just Speaking It

    There's a new study by the University of Edinburgh Reid School of Music that shows singing in a foreign language is a better way to learn it than simply repeating phrases. One test even showed that people who sang foreign phrases performed twice as well as their non-singing counterparts. Everyone sing along with me now: Zut alors!

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  6. Entertainment

    10 Pieces of British Slang I’d Like to See Stay in the U.K.

    Earlier this week, I confessed to watching much too much British television. So much so that I lobbied for 10 pieces of British slang to be adopted here in America, but just because I like some of it doesn't mean I like it all. Some British slang is confusing, distasteful, or forever marred for me by weirdly personal reasons. There were a few I liked that didn't make that list, but instead of adding more I think my time is better served by sharing 10 British slang terms I'd like to see stay on the other side of the Atlantic.

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  7. Tech

    Twitter Adds LOLcat Language Setting If That’s Something You’re Interested In

    Look, I'm not going to try and convince you that LOLcats are high art or anything, but they can certainly be amusing when the right moment strikes. Look at that cat over there on the left! Isn't it hilarious how he can't spell? Given that the phenomenon originated on the Internet, it only makes sense that the Internet should embrace it. In that vein, Twitter has now added a LOLcat language option to their service. No, I'm not joking.

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  8. Tech

    Sharp Words: French Government Creates Official French Word for “Hashtag”

    I took four years of French in high school, but barely squeaked by with a D average. I remember maybe twenty words in French, but now -- thanks to the French government -- I know one more: mot-dièse. It's the newest word in the French language, and it was created to replace the common Twitter term "hashtag." Sadly, like almost every other word in the French language, I'm just going to forget it after the test.

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  9. Science

    Babies May Start Acquiring Language While Still in the Womb

    Expectant parents replacing respected epithets with things like "the F word" may want to start being more careful how they talk in front of  their children earlier than we've realized. That's according to a new study showing that at just a few hours old, babies' brains can tell the difference between the sounds mother's native language and one they haven't been exposed to. Those early processing differences show that that primitive language acquisition may begin while children are still in the womb.

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  10. Tech

    Find the Nicest Tweeters and the Asshats with This Heat Map

    Twitter can be a pretty nasty place sometimes. That's what happens when you give everyone a place where they can immediately post their reactions on impulse. When people don't like what they hear, or read, online, they can get pretty perturbed. Sometimes things get heated and they say things like "fuck you." Things aren't all bad, however. Sometimes folks still greet each other with a cheery "good morning" instead. Now we even have a heat map showing exactly where these two crop up!

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  11. Tech

    Researchers Craft Robot That Learns Our Language

    In order to better understand how babies move from squealing bundles of joy to toddlers with the ability to form sentences, British researchers have created a robot capable of learning the English language. Skynet is here and it's a gender neutral robot of three feet.

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  12. Science

    Thinking In A Foreign Language Helps You Make Rational Decisions

    We all have to make tough decisions, and it's never easy. According to a new study in Psychological Science, it can be a little easier if you know a second language, and think in that one when trying to make a rational decision. Along with your rational, fact-based thinking, there's a sneaky side of your brain that pushes all kinds of emotional buttons regardless of what the facts may be. If you're thinking a language other than the one you grew up with, however, that sneaky side has much less of an effect.

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  13. Entertainment

    Google Books Used to Track Life and Death of Words

    Google's ongoing attempt to turn the libraries of the world into a single, massive collection of scanned documents has found an unusual use in the hands of some physicists. Venturing into realms usually left to the English majors and linguists, the researchers used Google Books' scanned tomes as a massive data set announcing new findings on the evolutionary life and death of words, including the assertion that English contains about 1,000,000 words -- far more than most dictionaries would have you believe.

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  14. Science

    Goats Form Accents Based on the Hip Goats They Hang Around

    Conventional scientific wisdom has held that most mammals make vocalizations based on one thing, and one thing only: Genetics. Unless the creature uses its voice to communicate or navigate -- as is the case with bats, whales, and good ol' Homo sapiens -- a mammal will sound the same no matter where it comes from. A U.K. sheep will be the same as a Utah sheep, and so on. However, a new study looking at (adorable) pygmy goat kids suggests that this might not be the case, and that the voices of mammals are far more flexible then we thought.

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  15. Entertainment

    How To Say I Love You To Anyone [Video]

    All you omniglots out there might not have any trouble in telling anyone, anywhere, that you love them in any language. The rest of us might have a little trouble. For all you cross-language lovers out there -- or aspiring cross-language lovers -- here's a crash course in "I love you" from Memrise. They've even got you covered in the unlikely case that the apple of your eye speaks pig-latin, and the unlikely case that you don't already know how to speak it. Check out a full I-Love-You below.

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