Dictionary Upgrades: ‘Twerk,’ ‘Derp,’ ‘Selfie,’ ‘Food baby,’ and ‘Jorts’ Added to the Dictionary

The English language is ever-changing and the powers-that-be are taking note. Each year, new words are added to authoritative dictionaries around the world in an attempt to keep their collections as modern and comprehensive as possible. The Oxford Dictionaries Online (ODO) is the newest group to include a a bundle of slang-ish words. In 2012, […]

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A New Symbol for a New Age: ‘The’ Gets Shrunk to ‘Ћ’

More sketches by Mathis

When communicating 140 characters at a time, you must constantly be on the prowl to lose verbal baggage by drop a letter or word here and there. To do this, we’ve invented an entirely new kind of lexicon. Lol-ing, wtf-ing, smh-ing, and yolo-ing our roflcopters has taken control of the way we talk. Our abbreviations transcend the phrases they originally reference and become symbols themselves. Paul Mathis, a 52-year-old Australian restaurant magnate, decided to take on the most common word in the English language “the” and create his own symbol without using “t” “h” or “e.”

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“I” Before “E” Except After “C”

The Alphabet doesn't even follow the rule

Our intern Elliot looks at the merits of spelling’s favorite rhyme: “i” before “e” except after “c.”

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Different Names For The Same Thing: The Regional Words That Divide Us

American English is a unique beast. Taken from British English and then purposefully tweaked to be different, the American variation has itself taken on diverse forms. We know this, of course, but you might not have realized just how pronunciations remain. As new data visualizations from Joshua Katz of NC State University (based on data […]

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Commentary Ticker

  • Google Glass Lets You Take Photos With Your Brain
    July 12, 2014 | 4:02 pm

    If you haven’t heard, electroencephalograms (EEGs) have been getting better. Way better. Artificial limbs and even video game controllers are utilizing the non-invasive brain-wave monitoring method to guide computers by thought. Now English startup This Place has developed a way to bring the technology to Google Glass, allowing Google’s wearable to read your mind. Well, […]

  • Android Art: The Accidental Selfies of Google Art Project
    July 5, 2014 | 11:11 am

    Within the cultural centers of the world lurks a mechanical beast draped in silver spinning madly and capturing everything, sometimes even itself. In 2011 Google created the Art Project, an initiative to bring their Street View technology inside the cultural epicenters of the world. Google enlisted 17 world-class museums in short time. Institutions such as […]

  • Purple Mountunes Majesty: The Most Patriotic Playlist
    July 4, 2014 | 12:13 pm

    A while ago, Paul Lamere of The Echo Nest, a music-analysis company, took to finding each state’s most distinctive, yet popular, artist in a viral article. Spotify took note, purchasing Echo Nest for their analytical talent. Together, they’ve released a blog post documenting each state’s most distinctively American song creating a patriotic playlist for the […]

  • Emojinealogy: Where the Heck Emojis Come From
    July 2, 2014 | 3:10 pm

    On June 16th, the Unicode Consortium announced that 250 new emoji would be added to the list of symbols available to people’s cellphones and computer devices. The list of the new symbols can be found on Emojipedia. And no, the list doesn’t include the much needed minority representation, but it does include your favorite (?) […]

  • The Decline and Fall of the American Mall
    June 24, 2014 | 9:07 pm

    For ages, the shopping mall was as essential to the architecture of suburbia as Levittowns and freeways. But in an era of online shopping, these epicenters of brick and mortar yesteryear are quietly being abandoned across the country. While the U.S. currently has around 1,500, the number may soon shrink, and rapidly, leading to abandoned […]

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