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  1. How Not to Overthink Your Decision to Learn Japanese

    So, you’re finally taking the big step. You’ve seen the occasional words or titles in anime or games, and now you want to dive into the “real” stuff. You want to learn Japanese.

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  2. Merriam-Webster Adds “Steampunk,” “Spoiler Alert,” and “Fangirl” to the English Dictionary

    Today in Awesome

    Merriam-Webster announced the addition of one hundred fifty new words to its celebrated dictionary of American English, from "Auto-Tune" (to adjust or alter (a recording of a voice) with Auto-Tune software or other audio-editing software esp. to correct sung notes that are out of tune) to "Yooper" (a native or resident of the Upper Peninsula of Michigan — used as a nickname). And, nestled in among a selection of words that seem themed around the intersection of technology and pop culture, is one we're very familiar with here on The Mary Sue: "fangirl."

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  3. Nerd Semantics Cross Language Barriers With Yaoi, Slash, & Otaku

    Essay

    Words change, and words get used different ways in different places. Ask someone from the United States what word they use to refer to carbonated beverages, and you will hear at least two different answers. Sometimes three or more. English borrows words all the time from different languages, too. In anime and manga fandom, the words involved tend to be borrowed from Japanese. Words like otaku, words like yaoi.

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  4. You Guys? English Is a Really Messed Up Language [Video]

    Petition to make it so that hammers "ham."

    This video by AsapTHOUGHT, the companion channel to AsapSCIENCE, is more about colloquialisms and grammar oddities than it is about the inherent inconsistences of the English language. That being said, my brain still hurts from all of this thinking about words. And it rhymes, too!

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  5. Controversial Super Bowl Coke Commercial Adds Klingon; No Response Yet From Space Racists

    Great Moments in Advertising

    If you somehow managed to miss the latest instance of Racists Being Racist About Things, A) congratulations, I envy you, and B) this video will require a bit of explanation. It's a spoof of Coke's Super Bowl ad, which featured "America the Beautiful" being sung in different languages. Racists objected to it, because America is a country founded on the principles of equality, freedom, and that people who don't speak English are worth less than people who do. Stephen Colbert did an excellent takedown of the "controversy." And now GarlicJacksonComedy has given the video a geeky twist. No word yet from Morse Code-phobics, a group just as ridiculous as people who think Spanish shouldn't be spoken in a Coke ad. (via: io9) Are you following The Mary Sue on Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr, Pinterest, & Google +?

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  6. The French Language Police Exist And Would Like You To Stop Using “ASAP” ASAP

    I'm super sure everyone is going follow their instructions immediately.

    Just because the Oxford Dictionary made "selfie" word of the year doesn't mean every language is so lax with their standards. The French even have their own word police, the Académie Française, who tell people which words are okay to use and which are as passé as "freedom fries." Their most recent target? The abbreviation "ASAP."

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  7. The French Language Now Has Its Own Word For Sexting: “Textopornographie”

    Sacré bleu!

    Languages borrow from each other all the time -- English, for example, is mostly an amalgamation of Latin, German, French, and Norse. The French language, though? It's not having any of that cross-contamination stuff. So when new technology words float over from the English language, French likes to shut it down by making up their own versions.

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  8. Researchers Have Found That “Huh” Is One of the Most Universal Words in Human Language

    Oh, also, they officially claim it's a word.

    If someone says something you don't understand, it's common to reply with, "Huh?" but we didn't realize just how common. It's so common that it's universal, say a team of researchers. They examined conversations in ten different languages, and "Huh?" or something very similar shows up in all of them.

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  9. [Updated] Squee, srsly, Girl Crush, Derp Added to the Oxford Dictionaries Online. Also (Sigh) Twerk

    Elsewhere on the internet

    Four times a year the Oxford English Dictionary Oxford Dictionaries Online chooses new words to be allowed into its hallowed (digital) pages. In the past, those words have included geekery, hentai, tweet, sexting, dad dancing, and doh (as in Homer Simpson). This time around we get… twerking. Man, it's almost exactly like they timed this to the ongoing controversy over Miley Cyrus. Some new words that are now totally legit to use in formal essays (because if we can't trust the dictionary, whom can we trust?) are behind the cut, as are their brand spankin' new definitions. Oh, and also a video of Morgan Freeman explaining twerking. Update: We were incorrect in saying that the words are being added to the Oxford English Dictionary. It's actually the Oxford Dictionaries Online, which "focuses on current English and includes modern meanings and uses of words." Apologies.

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  10. Official Illinois State Department Website Offers Klingon Language Accessibility

    Make It So

    Know any unemployed Klingons living in Illinois? Then you should probably go tell them their lives have become considerably easier. But since they don't have a word for "unemployed," you might have some difficulty explaining it, so bring a phaser in case things escalate.

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