4 posts tagged with Language by blahblahblah.
Displaying 1 through 4 of 4.

😬 or 😀?

Take a look at: 😁. On many browsers, and on Android phones, this looks like a grinning face with smiling eyes (the official label), while on an iOS device, this looks like a painful grimace. A study shows that these differences can lead to difficulties interpreting emotions across platforms (and even within platforms there is a lot of variation)! With linguists arguing over whether emoji can evolve into a language, and with their own distinct grammar, these differences in interpretation can matter. Either way, the real-time tracker lets you see what emoji are being tweeted [prev], and fivethirtyeight sums up the 100 most popular.
posted by blahblahblah on Apr 11, 2016 - 88 comments

What is your generic term for a sweetened carbonated beverage?

In 25 questions, it will tell you where you are from (in the US), using results from the Harvard Dialect Survey [prev, now closed]. Don't peek, but this is an answer key of sorts, showing the full results of the survey. Come for the highly accurate maps, stay for the interesting variations - apparently, over 6% of people call a sunshower "the devil is beating his wife," and a small group calls it a "fox's wedding." [more inside]
posted by blahblahblah on Dec 23, 2013 - 334 comments

May you grow like an onion- with your head in the ground!

"May you be like a lamp: hang by day, burn by night and be snuffed out in the morning." Welcome to the long tradition of Yiddish curses. According to one scholar of insults: Curses in other languages differ from Yiddish in both content and style...Anglo-Saxon cultures prefer insults dealing with excrement and body parts, Catholic countries are partial to blasphemy, and cultures of the Middle and Far East go for ancestor insults, while Yiddish curses have a baroque splendor. A bunch more examples are here (keep scrolling).
posted by blahblahblah on Nov 18, 2005 - 33 comments

Awkwardfulness is. Long is not

Pentasyllabic is. Edible is not. Some words refer to themselves, some do not - an introduction to the paradox of language and a way to amaze your easily-amazed friends. In a similar vein, you may already test yourself by using e-prime, but do you know the thirty-two eskimo words for snow?
posted by blahblahblah on Nov 30, 2004 - 98 comments

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