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Language

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
$219  Buy Link Comment

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.

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Learn Languages with Mondly

Learn Languages with Mondly
$40-$60  Buy Comment

Mondly’s immersive language app for smartphones guides you through daily lessons, and makes learning easy, fun, and fast. Save big on this deal in The Awesomer Shop with a 1, 3, or 5 language lifetime subscription, and save 15% with code MERRY15 (through 12/31/18.)

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.

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.

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.

Deal: uTalk Language Education

Deal: uTalk Language Education
$20+  Buy Comment

Learn just about any language using practical vocabulary that natives use. Choose from over 130 languages, play games to solidify your knowledge, and keep track of your progress. Get access to a single language for $20, 6 for $30, 22 for $99, or all 130+ for $300.

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.

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.

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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.

History of English (in 10 Minutes)

History of English (in 10 Minutes)

If you’re reading this, there’s a pretty decent chance you speak English. So stop playing Skyrim for a few minutes, and learn a little something about where all of these silly words came from.

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