DailyDirt: More Than Words, Is All I Have To Say…
from the urls-we-dig-up dept
The meaning of words change all the time, and they may be changing faster than ever before. It’s hard for traditional dictionaries to really keep up with new words, but linguists are trying to record and categorize all the sounds they’re observing. It ain’t easy, but it’s interesting to keep track of all the ways our language changes as people around the world are increasingly connected. Here are just a few examples.
- Teenagers communicate in weird ways sometimes, making sounds that aren’t words (but still have meaning). There’s a difference between “duhhh” and “duhhyy” — and you should be insulted by the latter. [url]
- Many terms of endearment are almost universal, like “baby” — understandable in several different languages, but some cute names are not. Japanese women are commonly referred to as “an egg with eyes” as a compliment, but that doesn’t quite translate well in English…. [url]
- According to some linguists, young women are the leaders of language fads that spread into everyday conversations. For example, Webster’s New World College Dictionary (Fourth Edition) includes the use of “like” as a way to add emphasis — as in “It’s, like, hot.” [url]
- Verbal profanities are stored in a different part of your brain than where most of your language skills reside, and cursing has been part of our language for centuries (if not longer). Some of the worst obscenities in Latin focus on body parts and sex, so it seems like the subject matter of curse words hasn’t changed that much in a while. [url]
If you’d like to read more awesome and interesting stuff, check out this unrelated (but not entirely random!) Techdirt post via StumbleUpon.