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It’s Pronounced GIF

It’s Pronounced GIF

It’s a debate that’s been raging since the first file was produced in CompuServe’s Graphical Interchange Format back in 1987. With the help of podcasters Molly Ruhl and Gretchen McCulloch, YouTube personality Tom Scott takes a couple of minutes to set us straight on the proper pronunciation of the popular “.GIF” file extension.

What the #[email protected]!% Are These?

What the #$@!% Are These?

While we’re perfectly content to use actual swear words, for many years, they’ve been off-limits for use in most public-facing entertainment. Vox looks back at how random punctuation marks became the universal symbol for so-called “obscene” words.

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QLango Language Games

Learning new languages can help you significantly expand your horizons. With Qlango, you can learn 31 different languages using a combination of lessons and fun games and challenges. This lifetime subscription gets you access and is 50% off in The Awesomer Shop.

Busuu Language Learning

Packed with over 1,000 lessons in 12 different languages, Busuu is at the ready to help you learn. It offers personalized study plans, feedback by native speakers, and speech recognition to help guide your progress. Save 50% on this 2-year Premium Plus subscription in The Awesomer Shop.

Social Distancing Bundle Deal

Being stuck at home gives you time to work on self-improvement. This bundle is a good start, with lifetime subscriptions to Rosetta Stone’s extensive language learning system, 12min’s library of book summaries, and KeepSolid’s VPN Unlimited to protect your online privacy.

Babbel Language Learning

Ready to learn a new language? Babbel will help you go from zero to language hero with its bite-sized lessons, which cover real-life conversational topics in 14 different languages. This discounted lifetime subscription is a great deal, saving 60% off the list price.

Ludwig Sentence Search Engine

This unique search engine helps you create well-written documents, papers, work projects and more. Enter a sentence in English or one of 52 languages, and it will provide contextual examples from reliable sources. This lifetime subscription deal gets you unlimited searches with up to 60 results per page.

Why We Say “OK”

Why We Say “OK”

It’s a word we hear every day – “O.K.”, “OK”, or “Okay” is an acknowledgement that we understand something. But most of us have no idea why we say it. Vox delves into the history of the word, and how it became the nearly universal affirmation it is today.

Indian or Native American?

Indian or Native American?

In the first episode of his series “Reservations”, CGP Grey explains how the Europeans who took over America slapped a label on its indigenous people that would later be thought of as offensive, yet is still commonly used within tribes. Plus, the term selected to replace it has stirred controversy for other reasons.

HelloTalk VIP: Lifetime Subscription

An important part of learning a new language is conversation. HelloTalk is a chat app that pairs you up with partners around the globe, and includes tools for translation, pronunciation, transliteration, and corrections. VIP members can learn three languages at a time, and get improved visibility in the community.

Casually Explained: English

Casually Explained: English

(PG-13: Language) If you’re reading this, there’s an overwhelming chance that you can speak English. In this casual explanation, we learn what makes our language different than others, and why in some ways it’s easier to learn, and in others, much harder. Then there are the local accents and dialects…

Learn Languages with Mondly

Learn new languages quickly and easily with Mondly. The mobile app uses speech recognition tech to help you train your pronunciations, and lets you take part in virtual conversations. There are 33 languages to choose from, and you can grab a 1-, 3-, or 5-language lifetime subscription in The Awesomer Shop.

Rosetta Stone Lifetime Subscription

With its intuitive, immersive training method, Rosetta Stone will have you reading, writing, and speaking a new language in no time. Choose from Spanish, French, Italian, German, Mandarin, or Japanese, and save 33% in on a lifetime subscription in The Awesomer Shop.

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Earworms Language Training

With the right rhythm and melody, a good song can easily get stuck in your head. Earworms takes advantage of this phenomenon to help you learn another language. Choose from Spanish, Italian, German, or French lessons, and save 50% in The Awesomer Shop.

Origins of Common Phrases

Origins of Common Phrases

Did you know the phrase “balls to the wall” got its start as a term pilots used because their throttle controls had balls on the end of them? See, you already learned something today. Sam O’Nella Academy is here to school us on the etymology of a few other phrases as well.

WT2 Plus Translating Earphones

WT2 Plus Translating Earphones

The WT2 Plus is a pair of language translation earphones. In automatic mode, you and another person speak directly to each other by each wearing an earphone. It also has an ask mode that uses an app to translate what you’re saying to someone who doesn’t have the unit on.

Words That Changed Meanings

Words That Changed Meanings

Did you know that “doom” used to refer to a judgment handed down in court? John Green of Mental Floss schools us about 27 words we use today, and their very different meanings back in the day. We love how Elmer Fudd had an influence on our vocabulary.

English in Japan

English in Japan

When we were in Tokyo, we were fascinated that when we wanted some “vanilla ice cream,” we had to ask for “Baniraaisukurīmu.” Double Yolk looks at how Japan incorporates English words and deeper meanings into their language in some truly wonderful ways.

The Similarity Trap

The Similarity Trap

While certain words, objects, and even animals have similar traits, it turns out that they didn’t always evolve from the same origin, and sometimes just organically arrived at a similar point. MinuteEarth explains how likenesses between things aren’t always what they seem.

A Few Facts About Language

A Few Facts About Language

Mental Floss explores a bunch of tidbits and trivia about language, including some of the many quirks of English, how dictionaries work, and a serious polyglot – a man who claims to speak over fifty languages. That “whether” or “if” thing always trips us up.

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The Indian Alphabet Song

The Indian Alphabet Song

It’s time for today’s dose of politically incorrect humor. This Is Barry presents a rundown of the complete English alphabet, as interpreted by folks in India. We’re so singing this instead of the old Alphabet Song from now on.

Korean in 5 Minutes

Korean in 5 Minutes

For those of us who primarily speak English, languages without Latin characters in them are generally pretty daunting to learn. But Sam Gellman shows us a way to understand basic concepts of the Korean alphabet in a snap. We already feel so much smarter.

The Linguistics of AAVE

The Linguistics of AAVE

YouTuber xidnaf presents two theories behind the origin of African American Vernacular English. More importantly he points out that it’s not “broken English”, but a dialect with a set of rules that are also found in other languages.

Words Invented by Authors

Words Invented by Authors

Mental Floss’ John Green takes a look at 43 words and terms that have made our way into our lexicon, after being made up by authors who decided think outside of the dictionary. That Samuel Taylor Coleridge sure was prolific.

Grammar Lessons with Food

Grammar Lessons with Food

With the help of Pleated Jeans, we now know the difference between a man eating chicken and a man-eating chicken, thanks to this amusing and educational grammar lesson.

Words We Don’t Have in English

Words We Don’t Have in English

You’d think that the English language had one of the more colorful vocabularies around, but after watching this clip from BuzzFeed, we really need to start making up some new words of our own. Thank goodness for Urban Dictionary.

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