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  1. Things We Saw Today: Why You Can Smell That Petrichor After It Rains

    Here's a video from MIT laying out a bit about how the rain leaves that specific smell behind. (via HuffPo Science)

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  2. How the Heck Do You Pronounce “Doge,” Anyway?

    much pronounce. very confuse.

    We've been having this discussion in the office for a while now, and since this beloved meme is getting more and more press coverage with the creation and subsequent hacking of the dogecoin, it's only becoming more and more of an issue. How exactly do you say "doge?"

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  3. Stop Making Fun of Valley Girls Because You Might Sound Just like Them: Uptalk Dialect Spreading to Male Speakers

    Linguistics are so fascinating?

    So you know that thing called "uptalk," where a speaker ends a sentences by raising the pitch like they're asking a question? And how it's generally attributed to a very specific type of young woman? And how those women get made fun of a lot? According to new research, the speech pattern has expanded to other demographic groups -- including guys.

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  4. Germany Eliminates 63-Letter Longest Word

    Farewell, dear 'Rindfleischetikettierungsüberwachungsaufgabenübertragungsgesetz.' We hardly knew ye, let alone could pronounce ye.

    A regional parliament in Germany has officially eliminated the need for among the longest word in the German language -- Rindfleischetikettierungsüberwachungsaufgabenübertragungsgesetz, a 63-letter monstrosity pertaining to the the testing and labeling of beef.

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  5. The Abbreviation “OMG” Is Way Older Than We Thought

    Curiouser and curiouser!

    Younger generations these days are saddled with a lot of responsibilities they're not quite prepared for: Coming of age in a time of economic turmoil, figuring out how to get Earth to let us keep living on it without drowning in its rising oceans, dealing with the ever-looming threat that Siri will finally follow through with her plan and enslave us all. Less grave, but nonetheless usually put on the youths of the world, is the popularization of text-speak. You know the type: LOL, LMFAO, ROFL, OMG, Totes. Well, it turns out there's at least one of those abominations to the English language that no one in any recent generation has to take the blame for: "OMG" is at almost a hundred years old.

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  6. Ye Olde Explanation Of Where “Ye Olde” Comes From [Video]

    Nowadays "Ye Olde" is pretty much just a ham-fisted way to make something sound old(e) and quaint. As it turns out, however, there's a pretty good reason for how this actually came about and it has to do with, more than anything else, printing. This video from MinutePhysics -- taking a day off to be MinuteLinguistics -- straightens the whole issue out. It's more interesting than you might think.

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  7. Telltale Tweets: Geotagged by Language

    I hail from the midwest, and most people can tell because of how I seek out a refreshing "pop" as opposed to a heathen "soda." But a new paper filed with the Linguistic Society of America, claims your location can be determined to within 300 miles based off your 140-character tweets alone. The New Scientist is reporting on some of the results of the study, which drew on a source of 9,500 users totaling 4.7 million words.

    The researchers found that if you are cool in the San Francisco area, you will probably write "koo" on Twitter, but in southern California, you write "coo". You are "hella" tired in northern California, "deadass" tired in New York, and in Los Angeles you use an acronym for an obscenity.

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  8. Computer Deciphers 3,000 Year Old Language in Hours

    For those of you who always run into problems when trying to read ancient Ugaritic writing used in the lost city of Ugarit, behold! Scientists have used a computer program to translate the 3,000 year old language --first discovered by French archaeologists in 1920, yet only deciphered twelve years later--in mere hours, the Daily Mail reports.

    "Traditionally, decipherment has been viewed as a sort of scholarly detective game, and computers weren't thought to be of much use," said research head Regina Barzilay. "Our aim is to bring to bear the full power of modern machine learning and statistics to this problem."

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