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What Does a Dog See in Its Mind When You Say 'Ball'?

Scientists cite pups' 'referential understanding,' with mental images hinting at deeper grasp of language

(Newser) - Many dog owners believe their pets understand and respond not only to commands such as "sit" and "stay," but also to words referring to their favorite objects. "Bring me your ball" will often result in exactly that. But science has had trouble determining whether dogs and...

Wait for It: These 10 Terms Are Now 'Banished'
Wait for It: These
10 Terms Are
Now 'Banished'
in case you missed it

Wait for It: These 10 Terms Are Now 'Banished'

At least by Michigan college's annual list of words and phrases that it wants thrown in the trash

(Newser) - It's that time of year again, when we find out from Lake Superior State University what words they want to throw in the Dumpster fire of 2023. The Hill reports that the Michigan school's "decadeslong" tradition was helped along this year by more than 2,000 suggestions...

From Around the Globe, Words That Entered the Zeitgeist

Are you a password child? Quoicoubeh!

(Newser) - Many sentiments are universal; many words are not. As 2023 ends, the AP reached out to colleagues around the world for terms that emerged this year and seized or crystalized the popular mood. Some were newsy, some cultural. A couple were kind of delightful. Whatever the language, the emotions came...

This Is Collins Dictionary's Word of the Year

'AI,' or, you know, 'artificial intelligence,' 'has been much talked about in 2023,' per UK publisher

(Newser) - The "best of 2023" lists are starting to be compiled, and Collins Dictionary lexicographers have already announced their pick for word of the year. It's "AI," the initialism for "artificial intelligence," reports CNN , which notes the term means "the modeling of human mental...

A Nepo Baby Took a Coffee Nap After Eating a Shower Orange

No idea what that means? You need to brush up on this year's new entries to Dictionary.com

(Newser) - You've surely heard of "sextortion," but "paraprosdokian" may have you scratching your head. Luckily, both words now have full-fledged entries at Dictionary.com , which is out with its annual list of additions and updates. There are nearly 570 completely new entries, as well as almost 350...

First Words Revealed in African American Dictionary

Entries include 'bussin' and 'grill'

(Newser) - A new dictionary is in the works, one that focuses solely on words with African American origins. The Oxford Dictionary of African American English—a collaboration between Harvard University and Oxford University Press, per NPR —plans to publish its first 1,000 words in 2025. However, the New York ...

This Is What 'Pele' Now Means, per a Brazilian Dictionary

Entry meaning 'unique' in Portuguese-language reference pays tribute to Brazilian soccer great

(Newser) - Fans of Pele have been missing him since he died in December at the age of 82, but they've just found one sweetly permanent way to honor him. NPR notes that since his death, a Brazilian charity dedicated to promoting his legacy has been vying to have a term...

In the Name of All That Is Holy, Stop Saying These Words
In the Name of All That Is Holy,
Stop Saying These Words

In the Name of All That Is Holy, Stop Saying These Words

Lake Superior State University has released its annual 'Banished Words' list

(Newser) - It feels like we were just graced with "quiet quitting," yet now they're yanking it away. That's one of the entries on Lake Superior State University's annual "Banished Words" list, a compilation of the words and phrases that irk the judges as being "...

These Are 2022's Most Mispronounced Words

'Tagovailoa,' 'Zaporizhzhia' make the cut

(Newser) - "Miami Dolphins quarterback Tua Tagovailoa explained the significance of the Chicxulub impact crater to actor Domhnall Gleeson over a drink of negroni sbagliato in the Ukrainian city of Zaporizhzhia," is the kind of sentence that just might tie your tongue up in knots. It contains five examples from...

Oxford Dictionary Picks Its Word of the Year
Oxford Dictionary Picks
Its Word of the Year

Oxford Dictionary Picks Its Word of the Year

2022 was the time to go 'goblin mode'

(Newser) - The prestigious Oxford English Dictionary put this year's selection of its word of the year in the hands of voters for the first time, and it wasn't a close fight. "Goblin mode" won in a landslide, reports the BBC . For those unfamiliar, the dictionary defines the term...

Here's What We All Googled in 2022
Here's What We
All Googled in 2022

Here's What We All Googled in 2022

'Wordle' was most popular trending search on search engine this year

(Newser) - Google is out with the words and terms that Americans hunted for the most in 2022, and "Wordle," which is having a moment elsewhere Thursday , topped the list. "Every year, we look back at the moments, people, and trends that sparked our collective curiosity," the company...

Scrabble Dictionary Gets a Radical Update

First update since 2018 contains abbreviations and—gasp!—some proper nouns

(Newser) - Hey "bae," want to turn this "convo" into a Scrabble game over "margs"? If so, you'll want to seek "inspo" from the seventh edition of the official Scrabble dictionary, which includes 500 new playable words, some of which break with the typical Scrabble...

Dictionary's Word of the Year Angered Wordle Players

British players weren't familiar with 'homer'

(Newser) - The Cambridge Dictionary's word of the year is one that infuriated British players of Wordle who knew it only as the name of an ancient Greek poet—or Bart Simpson's dad. The dictionary says "homer" saw the biggest search spike of the year, with some 79,000...

'Adorkable' Merriam-Webster 'Levels Up'

Dictionary adds 370 new words, including 'cringe' and 'dumbphone'

(Newser) - As you update your vocabulary, so does Merriam-Webster. The dictionary has added 370 new words and terms to its pages, noting that "when many people use a word in the same way, over a long enough period of time, that word becomes eligible for inclusion." There are several...

Words Amazon Workers May Not Be Able to Say in App

Including 'union' and 'restroom,' per the Intercept

(Newser) - The Intercept reports that Amazon is working on a chat app designed to be used by its employees with the goal of boosting morale. That in itself is pretty humdrum stuff. But the reason the story is generating attention is because the Intercept also says Amazon plans to make some...

Ukrainians Want You to Use 'Kyiv,' Not 'Kiev'

The capital's name had previously been Russified, leading to spelling and pronunciation confusion

(Newser) - As Ukrainians continue to resist the invasion of their country by Russian forces, the nation's capital keeps coming up in conversations in an entirely different way, involving language, pronunciation, and a long, "touchy" history between the two neighbors. Quartz notes the Kyiv conundrum—or is it the Kiev...

Here Are 10 Phrases From 2021 We Never Want to Hear Again

Lake Superior State University's annual 'banished words' list is out; we take a deep dive (sorry)

(Newser) - For nearly half a century, Michigan's Lake Superior State University has put out an annual "banished words" list, featuring words or phrases that "are becoming overused to the point of uselessness" and starting to get under people's skin, per CNN . Now, 2022's entries are in...

Most Common Mispronounced Words, Names of 2021

Yes, 'omicron' is on the list

(Newser) - “Cheugy” is apparently a lot to chew on. Grammy-winning singer-songwriter Billie Eilish and Philadelphia Eagles center Jason Kelce have something in common—broadcasters butcher their names. And virtually everyone is iffy about "omicron." All four made it onto this year's list of most mispronounced words...

Cruz Slams Library of Congress' New Term for 'Illegal Aliens'

Texas senator blasts LOC for 'politically motivated' swap of term for 'noncitizens'

(Newser) - Ted Cruz has no problem with the term "illegal alien," and he's miffed that the Library of Congress is moving away from it. Per the Hill , the GOP senator from Texas, along with Republican Sen. Mike Braun of Indiana, penned a nearly five-page-long letter Wednesday to the...

Oxford's Word of the Year Is an 'Attention-Grabbing' One

'No word better captures the atmosphere of the past year than vax'

(Newser) - If you never want to hear anything about the pandemic ever again, there's one word you'll have to endure for at least another 15 minutes as it enjoys another moment in the sun. Oxford Languages has deemed "vax" its word of the year, with senior editor Fiona...

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