We—both the Mary Sue staff and our geek compatriots across the Internet—will seize on any bit of information, no matter how small, to theorize about a mysterious future development in a fictional world we love. Recently, that involved a lot of debate over the use of the word "Jedi," known to be both singular and plural, in the reveal Star Wars: The Last Jedi as Episode VIII's title. Now, foreign title translations have cleared things up for some, but we've still got questions.Read More
Anthropologist Michael Oman-Reagan has been tweeting screenshots of usage examples from the Oxford Dictionary of English that he feels perpetuate sexist biases.Read More
A not so small part of me still thinks this is a joke, because seriously, how perfect is a name like "Fuckebythenavele"?Read More
Well, that explains Pharrell.
According to the mathematicians at University of Vermont, the moral arc of the linguistic universe bends towards positivity. But have they been on the Internet lately? Because I feel like it's going to be a very, very long arc.Read More
Here's a video from MIT laying out a bit about how the rain leaves that specific smell behind. (via HuffPo Science)Read More
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.Read More
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.Read More
Today in Awesome
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!Read More
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 +?Read More
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."Read More
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.Read More
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.Read More
Elsewhere on the internet
Make It So
Inside of a dog it's too dark to read
Lundi matin, L’empereur, sa femme et le petit prince sont venus chez moi, pour me serrer la pince.
There's a new study by the University of Edinburgh Reid School of Music that shows singing in a foreign language is a better way to learn it than simply repeating phrases. One test even showed that people who sang foreign phrases performed twice as well as their non-singing counterparts. Everyone sing along with me now: Zut alors!Read More