Tagged With language

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If you've ever been to a foreign country where you don't speak the language, you know that an inability to communicate can be frustrating, if not a bit scary. But in Arrival, when 12 shell-shaped UFOs land across the world, everything seems to hinge on the skills of Amy Adams' linguistics expert, Louise — just as the movie itself hinges on making communication compelling.

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Video: South Park is unabashedly vulgar. The language can be crude and the action is sometimes, um, a little much — but the comedy is biting, the issues are relevant and it's done so much to change what television looks and sounds like today. Kaptain Kristian dives into how the language of a cartoon could affect reality and the concept of censorship in this fun look into the history of South Park.

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Have you ever wondered why Americans and Brits spell English differently? How are colour and colour the same word? Centre and center? What's up with that? It's all thanks to Noah Webster (yeah, the Webster of Merriam-Webster). When America gained independence, Webster wanted to simplify unreasonable spellings that were handed down from the British.

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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."

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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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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.