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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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.
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.
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?
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.
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."