“Mom, Dad, where do emoji come from?” The Unicode Consortium, son.

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The New York Times profiles the Unicode Consortium, the nonprofit that “serves as the midwife to new emojis.”

People who aren't nerds never cared much about the Unicode Consortium until everyone started caring, a lot, about emoji. Read the rest

A Swedish doctor's collection of English anatomical idioms

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Harvard Medical School's Per-Olof Hasselgren moved from Sweden to the USA more than 30 years ago, and ever since he got here, he's been noting down the large and bizarre universe of anatomical idioms in the glorious hairball that is the English language. Read the rest

Car accidents aren't accidents

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The use of the term "accident" gives cops and courts the cover to excuse murder. In a brutal editorial, Hsi-Pei Liao talks about his daughter, who was killed by a driver when she was three. The driver got a ticket for failure to yeild and failure to use due care, and those tickets were eventually thrown out by a DMV judge who considered the case for 47 seconds. Read the rest

How to flip someone off with THREE middle-fingers

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When your scorn cannot be contained in the anatomy of a bilaterally symmetrical life-form. Baffle your enemies! Win the admiration of your friends! Improve your manual dexterity! (via Super Punch) Read the rest

Execspeak singularity: the spectacular bullshit of Blackberry's CEO

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It takes a top-notch MBA and years of training to be able to improvise and enunciate statements like this 2010 gem: "I'm going to really frame our mobile architectural distinction. We've taken two fundamentally different approaches in their causalness. It's a causal difference, not just nuance." Read the rest

AP will use "climate doubters" instead of "climate skeptics"

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The new agency's new stylebook entry advises against using "deniers" as well, but at least it acknowledges that the true skeptics are adherents to the scientific method. Read the rest

How to send email like a non-metaphorical boss

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When Enron collapsed and got hit with a lawsuit requesting discovery on its internal email, its top bosses decided that they'd skip spending money on pricey lawyers to go through the archive and remove immaterial messages -- instead, the dumped the entire corpus of internal mail, including their employees' personal messages. Read the rest

Kickstarting 1,000,000 new entries in a nonprofit, online dictionary

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Erin McKean, our favorite word-nerd, is kickstarting a project to add one million widely used, but sadly absent, words to Wordnik, the nonprofit online dictionary. Read the rest

What's on the menu at the Eloi Plantation subdivision?

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I suppose that the "Eloi" in the Eloi Plantation subivision in Lafayette, LA is a reference to the French name, and not the post-human species of weak and foolish sybarites whom the Morlocks consume for food in HG Wells's classic novel "The Time Machine." Read the rest

Wonderful alphabet of superhero letters

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Australia-based illustrator Simon Koay reimagined the letters of the English alphabet as superheroes. Read the rest

Watch weather forecaster nail pronunciation of: Llanfairpwll​gwyngyllgogery​chwyrndro​bwllllantysilio​gogogoch

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Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch is a village on the island of Anglesey off the coast of Wales, UK. Nice work, Liam Dutton of Channel 4. Read the rest

Harvard linguist points out the 58 most commonly misused words and phrases

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At first I was adverse to posting this fulsome list of 58 commonly misused words and phrases, due to its sheer enormity, but I decided to proscribe it anyway because it is pretty bemusing. They are from Harvard linguist Steven Pinker's book, The Sense of Style: The Thinking Person's Guide to Writing in the 21st Century.

Adverse means detrimental and does not mean averse or disinclined.

Fulsome means unctuous or excessively or insincerely complimentary and does not mean full or copious.

Enormity means extreme evil and does not mean enormousness. [Note: It is acceptable to use it to mean a deplorable enormousness.]

Proscribe means to condemn, to forbid and does not mean to prescribe, to recommend, to direct.

Bemused means bewildered and does not mean amused.

Harvard linguist points out the 58 most commonly misused words and phrases Read the rest

Find out when your name was popular with Baby Name Explorer app

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It's not super scientifically perfect but it's a fun tool.

Eric the bird says he is a "fucking legend" and the dog is a "fucking cunt"

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Eric the Bird calls the dog he lives with a " fucking cunt." This Corella is indeed a "fucking legend," as he declares himself in the video below. Read the rest

Cockney rhyming slang "dying out"

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The "old, confusing tradition" is on its way to the history books, should the newspapers be believed.

What was the source of all this anxiety? A survey commissioned by the Rosy Lee tea company (“The Londoners’ Tea—warming the cockles of ya heart!”), and conducted by the market research agency ICM Unlimited, which found that Britons under the age of 25 in some cases had more trouble correctly defining slang phrases than their over-45 counterparts. Forty percent of respondents between the ages of 18 and 24 didn’t know that “Rosy Lee” was Cockney slang for “tea,” but more than 90 percent of respondents older than 45 got it right

Pictured above is a section of the rhyming slang tube map, available for £17.99 as a print. Here's a list of 100 CRS phrases to baffle your friends with. Read the rest

Well I'll be drmed

Jargon for the XXIth C. [via Sarah Jeong] Read the rest

Rules for Bible class

Nothing will be on fleek. (via Seanan) Read the rest

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