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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.


New Brain Map Shows Where Words Are Stored Inside Your Head

Researchers have created a new map of the human brain which shows where we organise words depending on their meaning — and it could help us read minds more accurately than ever.


Words That Were Invented Because We Actually Just Got Them Wrong

Video: The lesson, as always, is that we’re dumb. All of us. Even the smartest among us can’t save us because we’re all so dumb. Why? Because when we hear the wrong words, we don’t bother to fix ourselves but instead adopt those wrong words into our language even though they’re clearly wrong. It’s great! Language is always changing… for the worse.


10 Grammar Mistakes People Love To Correct (That Aren't Actually Wrong)

Are you the sort of person who just loves correcting other people’s grammar? Are you sure that you’re doing it right? Some things that people have been taught are rules of English grammar are really not rules at all — and some of them are flat-out wrong.


That Emoji Does Not Mean What You Think It Means

By now you probably know that the emoji you send on an iPhone might not be the emoji that is received on a Nexus. Since emoji are designed differently across platforms, sometimes your text messages might get lost in translation. But how differently might your well-intentioned emoji be displayed?


5 Fun Stories About The Origin Of Words And Other Common Phrases

Video: Why is a pineapple called a pineapple in English but is named anana in pretty much every other European language? Well, it’s because English speakers saw the spiky fruit and thought of a pine cone and apple while other countries use the Tupi Guaraini (language used by natives in South America) word for pineapple, nana, which means excellent fruit. I mean, they’re both kind of right!


How Far Back In Time Could You Travel And Still Understand English?

Video: Time travelling back into the past is almost always a bad idea. Everybody is racist, everything is dirty and you’ll probably get some terrible disease and/or get stabbed with a sword that everyone is carrying but you. The world is generally dumber and worse off. And on top of that, you might not even be able to understand the English they’re speaking.


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