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Why This Arctic Language Doesn't Use An Alphabet

So before you feel tricked by a technicality: Inuktitut does have a written language, but it’s just not an alphabet. Instead, as Tom Scott explains, it uses a related system of symbols to express sounds called an abugida.


Oxford English Dictionary Adds 'Oompa Loompa' And Other Tributes To Author Roald Dahl 

Just months after adding “Scooby Snack” to its hallowed pages, the Oxford English Dictionary has released its latest update. Among the 500-plus new terms gaining entrance: “Clickbait”, “kegerator”, “vom”, “YOLO” and “Yoda”. The list also included tributes to author Roald Dahl, born 100 years ago this month.


Dogs Can Tell When You Don't Really Mean What You Say

By scanning the brains of dogs, researchers from Hungary have learned that our canine companions don’t just care about what we say, it’s also very important about how how we say it. Which means they can tell when you’re feeding them a load of crap.


Here Are Some Words That Seem Like They Should Be Related But Actually Aren't At All

Video: Did you know the words “male” and “female” aren’t actually related to each other? As in, there’s no “male” in “female”. The word “male” is derived from the Latin word masculus, while the word “female” comes from the French word femelle. It sounded close enough so we just made them both pronounced like male. Damn, patriarchy.


Tony Abbott Would Approve Of The Oxford Dictionary's Latest Addition

Languages evolve over time and as much as we might hate words being vandalised by roving bands of lexically-challenged youths, we can’t really stop the march of our shifting vocabularies. Sometimes however, a good one sneaks in. Like “budgie smuggler”. OK, good might be a little strong…


'Scooby Snack' Added To Oxford English Dictionary, Presumably After Bribe Of Scooby Snacks

There are two food groups in the Scooby-Doo universe. One is the giant sandwich, crafted from whatever ingredients can be found in a haunted kitchen. The other is the Scooby Snack, a treat with delicious powers of bribery and persuasion — and now, an official entry in the Oxford English Dictionary.


A Compelling Argument On The Correct Way To Pronounce 'GIF'

GIF. The acronym that spawned a thousand passionate debates regarding its pronunciation. Be you in the creator’s soft-G camp or some other faction, there is no universal understanding on how it should be said. Quick question: Has anyone stopped to ask why?


15 Common English Words That You Probably Didn't Know Were Still Trademarked

The English language is a voracious eater, consuming words and digesting them into whole new things. Sometimes words that used to be trademarked by companies pass into generic use — like escalator, thermos, and aspirin. And sometimes words live in limbo: still trademarked, but used all the time as generic terms. Here are 15 of those words.


Why Does The Letter Q Almost Always Go With U?

The history of why ‘Q’ is almost always followed by ‘U’ is fascinating, and dates back to when the Normans invaded England in 1066.

Before that, English didn’t even have a Q; it used “cw” to replicate the sound. After the invasion, though, the spelling of English was changed to match the French ways: “cw” was replaced with “qu.”


Hilarious Tour Guide Teaches You To Speak Italian With Your Hands

Video: If you’ve seen The Sopranos or met someone from Italy you know Italians love to talk with their hands. Contrary to popular belief, it’s not just a collection of randomised arm flapping and emphatic gestures! Italians have a whole vocabulary of hand movements to quickly (or quietly) convey what they mean.


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