L.A. morning show host surprised that a K-pop star from Vancouver speaks English

After K-pop group NCT 127 from Vancouver, Canada performed on KTTV-Fox 11's Good Day L.A., host Araksya Karapetyan gave one of the singers an odd compliment: "Very cool, your English is awesome. I love it."

Here's the clip:

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Urban Dictionary attempts to incorporate Kavanaugh's definition of "Devil's Triangle"

A "Devil's Triangle" is a widely used term for an act of sexual congress between two men and a woman; but during his hearing, Brett Kavanaugh nonsensically insisted that this was some sort of drinking game. Read the rest

Sriracha, yowza, and sheeple among 300 new words in Scrabble dictionary

Four years since the last edition, Merriam-Webster's Official Scrabble Players Dictionary is on now shelves. From The Guardian:

Included in the new edition are some long-awaited two letter words, notably OK and ew.

“OK is something Scrabble players have been waiting for, for a long time,” said lexicographer Peter Sokolowski, editor at large at Merriam-Webster. “Basically two- and three-letter words are the lifeblood of the game.”

There’s more good news for Scrabble players with the addition of qapik, a unit of currency in Azerbaijan, adding to an arsenal of 20 playable words beginning with q that don’t need a u.

The Official SCRABBLE Players Dictionary, Sixth Edition (Amazon)

image: thebarrowboy CC BY 2.0 Read the rest

What do Japanese think of English swear words?

Asian Boss hit the streets of Tokyo to ask Japanese people what they thought of English curse words, oaths, insults, and epithets compared to Japanese ones. One person pointed out that English swear words are more direct (e.g., "Go fuck yourself"), whereas Japanese swear words are "more like insults and very indirect" (e.g., manuke, which literally means "out of rhythm" and is used to describe a loser). This is in keeping with the Japanese concept of aimai, which stresses implicitness over explicitness. Read the rest

Breasts aren't "boobs" or "titties" but rather "tiddies" or "titays"

"Titties" is a stupid word. It's so stupid and gross that some millennials are replacing it with even more ridiculous words like "tiddies" or "titays." Brilliantly funny MEL Magazine editor Alana Hope Levinson explores how "The Extremely Online are destroying language — one tiddy (or tity) at a time." From MEL:

I first started thinking about this when columnist merritt k wrote about the state of fake boobs and tried to get away with “tity” — with one “t” — throughout the entire draft. I thought it was a typo, but I was astounded to learn that merritt is on a one-woman crusade to make “tity” both the singular and plural.

Still, I thought merritt was a lone tity weirdo until I encountered “tiddies” in writer and designer Robyn Kanner’s draft on trolling Instagram’s nudity policy. “Tiddies” — apparently also the choice spelling of my bible, Jezebel — first appeared when Kanner was describing a scene in Garden State where Method Man asks Zach Braff, Peter Sarsgaard and Natalie Portman if they “saw some titties” at a strip club. In this case, Kanner was using the double d (lol) as a pronunciation spelling common in slang cause she thinks it “has more swagger.” “Titties with a ‘t’ is nice, but it just sounds like college boys talking about boobs,” she says. “Tiddies is ‘we are older, but we are recognizing we are making a joke about boobs.’” Because “titties” is so ridiculous, making it even more so somehow neutralizes the effect with comedy — or at least gives you some ironic distance.

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Shaking Like a Samurai - Musha Burui

One of my favorite things about learning Japanese and living here for over half my life is discovering all the words and phrases that have no exact equivalent in English. It’s an incredible feeling when you learn to describe an emotion, situation, or predicament that you never even realized you hadn’t previously been able to articulate.

It wasn’t too long ago that the Japanese words kintsugi (repairing broken pottery with lacquer mixed with gold) and tsundoku (the act of piling up reading material, but not quite getting around to reading it) made the rounds. It dawned on me that maybe other people like discovering these little treasures, as well.

Today I give you one of my favorite Japanese phrases: mushaburui.

This one’s an oldie but a goodie. Let me explain: Musha in Japanese means warrior or samurai. While the character for burui is a different pronunciation of furu, to shiver, quiver, or shake. Thus, I give you the “shivering samurai”. But what it means is even better than that.

When I was first taught this phrase, I was told to imagine the evening before a large battle. A samurai warrior is quietly making his preparations. He’s nervous, frightened, excited. Yet, despite this mix of emotions, there is a calmness and resignation at facing what might be a great victory or his inevitable death. He doesn’t know why, but as he reaches for his sword he’s trembling.

It is an older Japanese term used to describe a feeling I think we’ve all had at sometime in our lives. Read the rest

Put words between buns!

Courtesy of Ian Bogost (previously): a meme generator that puts words between buns!

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Chicago's 'Aloha Poke Co' wants Hawaiians to stop using the words 'aloha' and 'poke'

"Aloha Poke [Co.] would prefer to settle this matter amicably and without court intervention," reads a letter from Olson and Cepuritis Ltd, lawyers representing Chicago's Aloha Poke Company, addressed to the owner of Honolulu's "Aloha Poke Shop." Read the rest

Ghanaian parliament erupts into giggles as MPs learn about towns called "Vagina is Wise," "Penis is a Fool" and "Testicles are Sad"

Members of the Ghanaian lost their composure in fits of giggles and guffaws when MP John Frimpong Osei listed out the names of towns in his district that were awaiting electrification. Read the rest

Voice assistants suck, but they suck worse if you have an "accent"

Research into the shittiness of voice assistants zeroed in on a problem that many people were all-too-aware of: the inability of these devices to recognize "accented" speech ("accented" in quotes because there is no one formally correct English, and the most widely spoken English variants, such as Indian English, fall into this "accented" category). Read the rest

Rockstar: a programming language whose code takes the form of power ballads

Dylan Beattie created the (functional, but a) joke programming language "Rockstar" so that recruiters would be forced to end the odious practice of referring to people as "rockstar programmers." Read the rest

Google Translate's deep dream: some translation requests yield weird religious prophesies

Feed 19 repetitions of the word "dog" to Google Translate and ask it for a Maori conversion and you get this: "Doomsday Clock is three minutes at twelve. We are experiencing characters and a dramatic developments in the world, which indicate that we are increasingly approaching the end times and Jesus' return." Read the rest

Smoke some shoes? The DEA's list of slang terms for cannabis

The US Drug Enforcement Agency has released its latest edition of "Slang Terms and Code Words: A Reference for Law Enforcement Personnel." Predictably, some of the terms are rather questionable. From Reason:

A few of the terms, like "terpenes" and "MMJ" (short for medical marijuana), are not actually slang terms. Other names on the list, like "shoe," appear to be completely made up. Worse, "Devil's Lettuce" is italicized in the report, revealing that the relatively old term was only added in this year.

Meanwhile, "blunts," "good," and "gas" were apparently not important enough to make the cut.

This whole thing reminds me of the great "grunge speak" prank pulled on the New York Times in 1992 by Megan Jasper, then Sub Pop's receptionist and now the label's CEO. Anyway, here is the DEA's complete list of current slang words for marijuana:

420; A-Bomb (marijuana mixed with heroin); Acapulco Gold; Acapulco Red; Ace; African Black; African Bush; Airplane; Alfalfa; Alfombra; Alice B Toklas; All-Star; Almohada; Angola; Animal Cookies (hydroponic); Arizona; Ashes; Aunt Mary; AZ; Baby; Bale; Bambalachacha; Barbara Jean; Bareta; Bash; Bazooka (marijuana mixed with cocaine paste); BC Budd; Bernie; Bhang; Big Pillows; Biggy; Bionic (marijuana mixed with PCP); Black Bart; Black Gold; Black Maria; Blondie; Blue Cheese; Blue Crush; Blue Dream; Blue Jeans; Blue Sage; Blueberry; Bobo Bush; Boo; Boom; Branches; Broccoli; Bud; Budda; Burritos Verdes; Bush; Cabbage; Café; Cajita; Cali; Camara; Canadian Black; Catnip; Cheeba; Chernobyl; Cheese; Chicago Black; Chicago Green; Chippie; Chistosa; Christmas Tree; Chronic; Churro; Cigars; Citrol; Cola; Colorado Cocktail; Cookie (hydroponic); Cotorritos; Crazy Weed; Creeper Bud; Crippy; Crying Weed; Culican; Dank; Devils’s Lettuce; Dew; Diesel; Dimba; Dinkie Dow; Diosa Verde; Dirt Grass; Ditch Weed; Dizz; Djamba; Dody; Dojo; Domestic; Donna Juana; Doobie; Downtown Brown; Drag Weed; Dro (hydroponic); Droski (hydroponic); Dry High; Elefante Pata; Endo; Escoba; Fattie; Fine Stuff; Fire; Flower; Flower Tops; Fluffy; Fuzzy Lady; Gallina; Gallito; Garden; Garifa; Gauge; Gangster; Ganja; Gash; Gato; Ghana; Gigi (hydroponic); Giggle Smoke; Giggle Weed; Girl Scout Cookies (hydroponic); Gloria; Gold; Gold Leaf; Gold Star; Gong; Good Giggles; Gorilla; Gorilla Glue; Grand Daddy Purp; Grass; Grasshopper; Green; Green Crack; Green-Eyed Girl; Green Eyes; Green Goblin; Green Goddess; Green Mercedes Benz; Green Paint; Green Skunk; Greenhouse; Grenuda; Greta; Guardada; Gummy Bears; Gunga; Hairy Ones; Hash; Hawaiian; Hay; Hemp; Herb; Hierba; Holy Grail; Homegrown; Hooch; Hoja; Humo; Hydro; Indian Boy; Indian Hay; Jamaican Gold; Jamaican Red; Jane; Jive; Jolly Green; Jon-Jem; Joy Smoke; Juan Valdez; Juanita; Jungle Juice; Kaff; Kali; Kaya; KB; Kentucky Blue; KGB; Khalifa; Kiff; Killa; Kilter; King Louie; Kona Gold; Kumba; Kush; Laughing Grass; Laughing Weed; Leaf; Lechuga; Lemon-Lime; Leña; Liamba; Lime Pillows; Little Green Friends; Little Smoke; Llesca; Loaf; Lobo; Loco Weed; Loud; Love Nuggets; Love Weed; Lucas; M.J.; Machinery; Macoña; Mafafa; Magic Smoke; Manhattan Silver; Manteca; Maracachafa; Maria; Marimba; Mariquita; Mary Ann; Mary Jane; Mary Jones; Mary Warner; Mary Weaver; Matchbox; Matraca; Maui Wowie; Meg; Method; Mersh; Mexican Brown; Mexicali Haze; Mexican Green; Mexican Red; MMJ; Mochie (hydroponic); Moña; Monte; Moocah; Mootie; Mora; Morisqueta; Mostaza; Mota; Mother; Mowing the Lawn; Muggie; My Brother; Narizona; Northern Lights; Nug; O-Boy; OG; O.J.; Owl; Paja; Palm; Paloma; Palomita; Panama Cut; Panama Gold; Panama Red; Pakalolo; Parsley; Pasto; Pasture; Peliroja; Pelosa; Phoenix; Pine; Pink Panther; Pintura; Plant; Platinum Cookies (hydroponic); Platinum Jack; Pocket Rocket; Popcorn; Porro; Pot; Pretendo; Prop 215; Puff; Purple Haze; Purple OG; Queen Ann’s Lace; Red Hair; Ragweed; Railroad Weed; Rainy Day Woman; Rasta Weed; Red Cross; Red Dirt; Reefer; Reggie; Repollo; Righteous Bush; Root; Rope; Rosa Maria; Salt and Pepper; Santa Marta; Sasafras; Sativa; Shoes; Sinsemilla; Shmagma; Shora; Shrimp; Shwag; Skunk; Skywalker (hydroponic); Smoke; Smoochy Woochy Poochy; Smoke Canada; Sour OG; Spliff; Stems; Sticky; Stink Weed; Sugar Weed; Sweet Lucy; Tahoe (hydroponic); Tangy OG; Terp; Terpenes; Tex-Mex; Texas Tea; Tigitty; Tila; Tims; Top Shelf; Tosca; Train Wreck; Trees; Trinity OG; Tweeds; Valle; Wake and Bake; Weed; Weed Tea; Wet (marijuana dipped in PCP); Wheat; White-Haired Lady; Wooz; Yellow Submarine; Yen Pop; Yerba; Yesca; Young Girls; Zacate; Zacatecas; Zambi; Zip; Zoom (marijuana mixed with PCP)

"Slang Terms and Code Words: A Reference for Law Enforcement Personnel" (DEA, PDF) Read the rest

Browser extension to fix the NYT's squeamishness about calling Trump a liar

The New York Times doesn't like to call Donald Trump (who is a compulsive liar) a liar; they deploy the squeamish euphemism "falsely claimed" in place of "lied" -- with Gabriel Gironda's NYT Speak Chrome extension (source code here), you can remedy this situation. (Thanks, Gabriel Gironda!) Read the rest

Cockygate defeated: judge finds "Cocky" trademark for romance titles unenforceable

You'll recall that self-published romance author Faleena Hopkins undertook the sociopathic step of registering a trademark on the word "Cocky" in the titles of romance novels and then had her rivals' works removed from Amazon, threatening to sue any writer who used the common word in a title in the future. Read the rest

Dank Learning: teaching a machine learning algorithm to generate memes

A physics student and an engineering student from Stanford fed 400,000 memes to a Long Short-Term Memory Recurrent Neural Network and asked it to generate more memes of its own. Read the rest

Bayer and Monsanto merge into a new company called "Bayer" because Nazis have a better reputation than Big Ag

The $63 billion takeover of Monsanto by Bayer prompted a thorny branding question: what to call the new company? The company's management has announced its decision: the new company will be called "Bayer," despite the name's longtime association with Nazi slave labor camps, fatal human subjects experiments conducted on prisoners supplied by the Nazis, and complicity in the production of Zyklon B, the lethal poison used in concentration camp gas-chambers. Read the rest

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