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Displaying all articles tagged:
science of us
‘Frumbled’ and Other Good Reasons to Make Up Words
On “Russian blues” and the impossibility of seeing another person’s perception.
A Brief, Convoluted History of the Word ‘Intersectionality’
How an academic term morphed into a buzzword.
science of us
The 300-Year History of Using ‘Literally’ Figuratively
Women have always been much quicker than men to move ahead into new linguistic territory.
Apparently, These Are the Funniest Words in the English Language
According to a new study.
To Understand Why We Have So Many Languages, Look Way, Way Back in Human History
Rainfall and warfare are just two of the many factors.
How to Find the Word That’s on the Tip of Your Tongue
When “whatchamacallit” isn’t good enough.
Why the Internet Tilde Is the Most Perfect Piece of Snark We Have
Is there any punctuation mark more of the times?
The Real Purpose of Uptalk Is to Get You to Shut Up and Listen
Linguists argue that the much-maligned habit is a way of holding a listener’s attention.
How Do You Write About Something Like Alzheimer’s?
The disease resists any easy attempt at metaphors, but that doesn’t mean patients and their caretakers don’t try.
A Linguist Breaks Down What We Really Mean When We Call Our Friends ‘Close’
Friendship between women has its own language.
Sometimes, Mental-Illness Destigmatization Can Backfire
People with severe mental-health problems really are suffering, and it doesn’t make sense to scrub the language we use to pretend they aren’t.
Why You Trust Email Way More Than You Should
It’s not a casual spoken conversation. So why do we treat it like one?
Talking in Euphemisms Can Chip Away at Your Sense of Morality
Using “indirect speech” to describe unethical behavior helps us feel better about it.
Use This Storytelling Technique to Make Your Bad Memories Feel More Meaningful
And gain some much-needed distance.
This Chart of a Baby’s First 100 Words Explains How We Learn Language
In the earliest stages, babies’ speech follows a certain pattern.
This Finnish Word Makes Your Sad Weekend Plans Sound a Little Cooler
It’s a good night for some
Learning Sign Language Can Help You Improve Your Vision
A new study found a link between sign-language fluency and “visual-processing skills.”
Why So Many Movie Villains Have British Accents
A linguist explains.
Want Synesthesia? Try Learning a New Language
People who became bilingual later in life are more likely to experience the mysterious blurring of the senses.
Learning a Language Makes You Better at Handling Ambiguity
Because you’re not going to know everything.
Emoji Have a Dual Nature
Depending on what they’re describing, people write with emoji using one of two logics.
You Can Be Lazy and Learn a New Language at the Same Time
There are times when it’s best to put down the Duolingo.
Monkeys’ Mouths Are Built for Speech — Only Their Brains Are Holding Them Back
A new study shows that they’re capable of noises that sound a lot like human language.
When Ex-cons Change Their Vocabulary, They Stay Out of Jail
Change the way you speak, change the way you live.
Having Finely Tuned Emotions Will Help You Process Trump’s Win
The richer your vocabulary, the greater your resilience.
Test Your Creativity: What Do These 3 Words Have in Common?
One for the puzzle lovers.
Is American English at Its Rough-Spun Best
The language evolves.
The Boy Who Woke Up From a Coma Speaking a Whole New Language
Rueben Nsemoh knew only a few words of Spanish — until a head injury made him fluent.
How We Got ‘Bark’ for Dogs, ‘Quack’ for Ducks, and Other Words for Animal Sounds
New research shows how people across the world describe animal sounds.
The World Looks Different When You’re Speaking a Second Language
A new memoir lends a fresh perspective to one of the great mysteries of modern linguistics.
Thinking in a Second Language Makes You Less Moral
We feel more, and reason less, in our native language.
A Dictionary Wants Everyone to Calm Down About Using ‘Literally’ Wrong
Words evolve. English will be okay.
Blind People Gesture Like Sighted People
Whether or not you can see, you talk with your hands.
The Unexpectedly Existential Roots of Adjective Order
Why it’s a “huge fuzzy blanket” and not a “fuzzy huge blanket.”
Your Dog Is Too Smart to Be Fooled by Your Fake Happy Voice
“Who’s a big dummy? Who’s a big dumb boy?”
The Race to Study a Dying Sign Language Before It Disappears
It’s making linguists rethink what they believe about how humans learned to speak.
The Man Who Woke Up One Morning and Forgot How to Read
A strange case that settled a long, contentious debate about the brain.
Babies Learn Accents Before They’re Even Born
Their cries sound different depending on the language their parents speak.
Stuttering Birds Are Helping Scientists Understand How Humans Learned to Talk
What another species’ speech impediment reveals about our own capacity for language.
The Magic Word That Makes You Seem Extra Persuasive
If You Want to Bond With Someone, Swear at Them
It’s fun, too!
Linguistics Explains Why Ending a Text With a Period Is So Awful
It’s all about context.
Gorillas Talk With Their Hands the Same Way Humans Do
Some gestures mean the same thing across species.
A Talking Orangutan Can Help Us Understand How Humans Developed Speech
His name’s Rocky, and he sounds eerily humanlike.
How to Say ‘Um’ and ‘Like’ and Also Sound Smart
There’s a way to use filler words to your advantage.
The Next Frontier of Linguistics Is Monkey Chatter
Like human speech, it has its own set of rules.
Talking With Your Hands Makes You Learn Things Faster
Speech is physical.
Humans Aren’t the Only Animals That Use Baby Talk With Their Kids
Birds do it, too.
but we're both equally annoying
If You Want a Woman’s Real Opinion, Check Her Facebook
A new study found women are just as assertive on social media as men.
We May Never Know Why the Word ‘Moist’ Is So Terrible
A new paper adds to an ongoing linguistic mystery.