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  1. Margaret Atwood Protests Removal of Nature Words From Oxford Junior Dictionary

    In the spring, at the end of the day, you should smell like broadband?

    Since 2007, Oxford University Press has removed the names of at least 30 plants and animals from its Junior Dictionary in favor of modern words like "broadband" or "cut-and-paste"; and although these changes might reflect the inevitable evolution of the English language, Margaret Atwood is concerned that omitting the natural world from children's vocabularies will have dire consequences.

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  2. Speaking of Walkers: A Study of the Slang Our Heroes Call Their Villains

    Walker, Geek, Lamebrain, or Biter?

    Firefly had Reavers, Lost had the Others, Terra Nova had Sixers, V had Visitors, The 100 has Grounders, and Falling Skies has Skitters/Cooties. Slang terms for the enemy probably go back to the time of cave paintings, when early humans painted their enemies with vestigial tails. Television has no shortage of this brand of slang.

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  3. Let’s Take a Break From All This Valentine’s Stuff and Learn About Word Origins With John Green

    What's the origin of "species"?

    Words are weird, and so are their origins. Why do we call people "dunces"? Why do put the "kibosh" on things? Learn those origins and more from Mental Floss' own John Green in this video.

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  4. Why Do We Call People With Orange Hair Redheads?

    Is Karren Gillan still a redhead, what with the shaved head and all?

    Amy Pond is a "redhead" even though her hair is orange -- why? This is true of all natural redheads, really, but since the explanation has quite a bit to do with history and early civilizations, we figured who better than a time-traveling ginger to use as an example. To the TARDIS, everyone! It's time for learning!

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  5. Merriam-Webster Declares “Science” Its 2013 Word of the Year, We Declare Merriam-Webster Our 2013 Dictionary of the Year

    Someone try to use all of the top ten words in one sentence. Ready? Go!

    It's a great day for geeks of all kinds! Merriam-Webster has declared "science" as their 2013 Word of the Year, meaning word-geeks and science-geeks get to party together. While other dictionaries have been throwing around "selfie" as their trendy word of the year picks, MW knows what's important. Let's look at why they chose "science."

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  6. Language Log Does an [Adjective]-Ass Job of Breaking Down This SNL Sketch

    This article wins for most times we've gotten away with writing "ass."

    Did you catch this SNL Weekend Update sketch featuring Taran Killam as Jebidiah Atkinson, the speech critic who panned the Gettysburg Address? It's really funny, but Language Log wasn't focused on the humor. They broke down one line of the sketch to look at whether or not "[adjective]-ass statements" can occur predicatively.

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  7. 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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  8. Twitter Users Call Out President Obama Because “Madder” Isn’t a Word, Except That it Is

    There may be problems with the healthcare site, but not with Obama's grammar.

    In a speech about the problems with the Affordable Care Act registration site, President Obama said, "Nobody is madder than me." The Internet, ever the haven of grammar trolls, has erupted with people on Twitter calling the President out for using "madder" claiming that it's not a word. Bad news, pedants -- "Madder" is absolutely a word.

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  9. On the Heels of “Twerk”, Oxford English Dictionary Considers Several New Silly Words

    "Man, I wish 'phubbing' was a real word." WISH GRANTED. Maybe.

    In a recent interview with Wordability, Senior Editor at Oxford Dictionaries Fiona McPherson shed some light on words that are "on the radar" for possible future inclusion in the OED. While a serious discussion about the word "bacne" is kind of hilarious, every English teacher you've ever had just felt a great disturbance in the Force.

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  10. “Twerk” Added to Oxford English Dictionary, We Don’t Like Their Definition

    The official definition for "twerk" seems flawed, so we've decided to help the OED.

    The Oxford English Dictionary defines "twerk" as a verb meaning to "dance to popular music in a sexually provocative manner involving thrusting hip movements and a low, squatting stance." Geekosystem defines the inclusion of "twerk" in the OED as a stupid waste of time, but if you're going to do it, do it right. Let's fix that definition.

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