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What Did You Say?

A new study shows that people everywhere navigate potential misunderstandings in roughly the same three ways.<p>Two years ago, the linguists Mark Dingemanse and Nick Enfield found that the word “Huh?” is universal across 31 languages. That is, nearly every language has a short, one-syllable sound …

Language

Will emoji become a new language?

Emoji are already butting their heads with traditional words, but could they take over completely? Linguist Neil Cohn casts his expert eye over the pictures taking the world by storm.<p>The year 2015 could be called the year of the emoji. They have landed a teenage boy in a police cell and prompted …

Language

Is Sexism All in Your Brain?

A new study says the brains of misogynists are also super-dense in regions that control fear and anger. But there’s a twist.<p>Sexism is deeply …

Our great-grandchildren will speak a wildly different English

One way of predicting the future is to look back at the past. The global role English plays today as a <i>lingua franca—</i>used as a means of communication by speakers of different languages—has parallels in the Latin of pre-modern Europe.<p>Having been spread by the success of the Roman Empire, Classical …

A Modern Guide to Being the Best Thanksgiving Guest Ever

Thanksgiving is like the Super Bowl of dinner parties. And your best manners need to be <i>on point</i> if you want to be a welcome and gracious dinner …

Sofa

First genetically modified humans could exist within two years

Humans who have had their DNA genetically modified could exist within two years after a private biotech company announced plans to start the first trials into a ground-breaking new technique.<p>Editas Medicine, which is based in the US, said it plans to become the first lab in the world to …