Tag: language

Schrödinger’s cat: What can cats tell us about physics, philosophy, and language?

What can cats tell us about physics, philosophy, and language?

Take a cat, a Geiger counter, a radioactive sample that has a fifty-fifty chance of decaying in an hour, some cyanide in a glass phial, and a metal box. Lock the cat into the box together with the other equipment rigged up so that if an atom of the radioactive substance decays it triggers the […]

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What do you call a dinosaur with an extensive vocabulary? A thesaurus!

Language jokes for International Jokes Day

We love language and we love jokes, so it stands to reason that we love language jokes. We took to Twitter to try out some of our favourites, and asked the good people of the public to tweet us their own too. Below are our jokes, and a selection of the others that we liked […]

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“Language is fossil poetry.” - Ralph Waldo Emerson  (1803–1882)

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“An idea does not pass from one language to another without change.” - Miguel de Unamuno  (1864–1936)

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paper cut figures

Clarity about ‘the gay thing’

Sometimes, we say what we don’t really mean. ‘You look really tired’, for example, when we mean to be caring rather than disparaging of appearance. ‘I thought you were older than that!’ when we mean to applaud maturity rather than further disparage appearance. And so it is with the gay thing. The accidental difference between […]

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foreign life

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Is Polari its own language?

Is Polari its own language?

Nellyarda, zhoosh the riah, titivate, schlumph your Vera down, and palare that omee for the bevvies because I’ve nanti dinarli. (Translation: Listen, style your hair, make yourself look pretty, drink up your gin, and talk to that man to get a drink because I’m skint). The words you’ve just read are Polari words. Polari encompasses […]

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Language Hoax Quiz

Language quiz: does the world look the same in any language?

The Japanese language has a single word that encompasses both green and blue colors, whilst the Russian language has separate terms for different shades of blue. So does this mean that people who speak Russian and Japanese perceive these colors differently from English speakers? And even more questionably: are we only able to form concepts […]

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