Koko, the gorilla who uses sign language, is capable of discussing almost anything that human beings might want to see Koko discuss. If you enjoyed the video that’s going around the internet in which Koko shares her thoughts on the global climate-change summit, you’ll definitely be wowed by her review of Star Wars…
By its very definition, slang is simple. It is informal language used by a group of people to discuss or describe certain concepts or characteristics that are implicitly understood if one is a member of said group. As such, approaching slang as if it is some layered, highly nuanced matter in which the individual who…
On Thursday, the Oxford English Dictionary announced its latest update, which added almost 500 new words to the compendium, including “twerk,” “hot mess,” “fo’ shizzle,” and “FLOTUS.”
You've probably heard that English is being ruined — by the Internet, by texting, by Americans, by young people who have no respect for proper grammar. But it turns out that people have always worried over English, and over the centuries, have accused all sorts of things of "ruining" the language.
This week's Sunday Puzzle looks like a mathematical equation. Well, it is a mathematical equation. But hidden in that equation is a poem. Can you recite it back to us?
Let us begin, as we so often do, by acknowledging that the term "basic bitch" has been expertly Columbused by white people. In 1984, the R&B group Klymaxx had a hit Billboard single with "Meeting In The Ladies Room," where one of the ladies sings about a basic woman who is trying to get up on her man. But rapper…
Good news, people who eschew video games for old board games that smell like your grandmother's attic! There's tons of new words you can play in Scrabble now without being called out for "just making shit up."
Everyone knows Samuel L. Jackson loves to say "motherfucker" in his films. It's a beautiful, glorious word when it rolls off his tongue. Jackson saying "motherfucker" is like Laurence Olivier reciting lines from Hamlet. It's like the sound of unicorns tickling puppies and then calling them "motherfuckers."
Time favors the Valley Girl. When someone keeps using the words “like” or “you know” in a conversation, they’re actually telling you that they are paying attention to exactly what you’re saying and that they are not, in fact, a stupid person. Who knew!
Four different forms of the word 'cunt' have been added to the Oxford English Dictionary, and they're all spectacular.
The word bossy is not a bad word as words go. It can even be kinda great. It's when someone is aggressive to get shit done. Anyone can be bossy — go ahead and tell me you've never met a bossy guy without a title in sight. But you don't need a study to tell you this is a word usually reserved for women who give orders,…
Sheryl Sandberg! is speaking out about the gendered nature of the word "bossy"—the way that men get to be the boss (competent, powerful, in control), while women are coded as bossy (nagging, domineering, stepping out of their place). Sandberg, along with Condoleezza Rice and Girl Scouts CEO Anna Maria Chávez, is…
The makers of the ultra-addictive hit game "Candy Crush" had a change of heart regarding their plans to trademark the word "candy," which is probably a very good thing.
If an alien species tried to assess human social interaction based solely on what we say to and about each other on Twitter, they'd think we were a pretty foul-mouthed, hostile bunch. And they'd likely be inclined to believe that women on Twitter, with their fondness for "bitch" and "slut" when talking to other women,…
The trend of women's magazines using curse words on their covers continues: Cosmopolitan's January cover screams "52 HOLY SH@*!T SEX MOVES: Let the Games Begin!"
If you were worried that your constant texting was ruining your ability to write prose like the masters, chill da fuck out. A new study out of Australia and Canada shows that your simple human brain is actually skilled enough to go from standard English to txt spk and back again. Cool!
Words travel across continents and eons of time. I wanted to start a series of etymological visual exercises that explain how words evolve through language.
The American Dialect Society has voted "because" the Word of the Year for 2013, because "because is now being used in new ways to introduce a noun, adjective, or other part of speech." No matter how annoying you think it is, because is definitely very hot right now.
Bye bye, vocal fry. All the cool kids in 2013 are ending their sentences with invisible question marks.
This is pretty cool stuff to keep in mind the next time you're staggering all over the streets of Helsinki, trying to get some uptight cop to give you back your Vodka (that's what everyone's 'summer vacations' are like, right?)