Every known culture on Earth has special words for kids to call their parents.
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One anthropologist found 1,072 similar words for 'mom' and 'dad' in the world's languages. It turns out a mix of biology, culture and encouragement from parents explains this phenomenon.
Depending on where you’re from, you say words like ‘basil’ a specific way.
Accents differ depending on where we're from, even in the same country.
Some animals, like rats, learn linguistic patterns better than humans can.
It’s a simple word with a strange history.
The word 'OK' has only been around for 180 years, but it's become the most spoken word on the planet.
Drawing of a ‘bogan doll’ which featured in a 1984 edition of a student-produced Xavier College magazine Sursum Corda.
A 1984 magazine produced by students at Xavier College contains the earliest known reference to the word 'bogan' as we now understand it.
Instead of overreacting to minor slights, it’s healthier to just say, ‘pyt.’
Pyt doesn't have an exact English translation, but there's a rich strain of psychological research devoted to its benefits in everyday life.
What to write to get that next grant?
Grant abstracts with more words, more complex language and more storytelling tend to earn more money – even if that's not exactly what funders say they'd want.
Why do some words sound pleasant to us, while others provoke disgust? Learning a new language can help us find out.
Probably the most famous 'Welsh' word, 'cwtch' is the perfect example of a dialect term.
Pharmacy or marijuana dispensary?
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Marijuana has a rich linguistic tradition. But drive by dispensaries like 'Advanced Medical Alternatives' or 'Alameda Wellness Center,' and you might think you’re passing the office of a physical therapist.
Edward Hopper’s ‘Office in a Small City’ (1953).
Although loneliness may seem timeless and universal, the word seems to have originated in the 16th century,
A grand monument to love.
A loving relationship may be a unique mix of different 'flavours' of love.
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'Milkshake duck', a word created in 2016 on Twitter, is the Macquarie Dictionary Word of the Year. Efforts to coin new words have a long history and were particularly in vogue in the 1980s.
World map of linguistic families / Wikimedia Commons
Evolutionary biologists ask very similar questions about species to those asked by linguists about languages.
Everyone sees them all, but we don’t all give them the same distinct names.
People across the globe all see millions of distinct colors. But the terms we use to describe them vary across cultures. New cognitive science research suggests it's about what we want to communicate.
Research has typically found that shared reading experiences are highly beneficial for young people.
There are benefits to shared reading long after children can read to themselves, so how long should you read to your children?
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A recent study uncovered the words that people find the funniest. But humour differs between men and women in surprising ways.
The Oxford English Dictionary overflows with words that have been created (most during the 1800s) to tilt at governments of various sorts.
Here is a handful of extremely useful expressions with political application which have fallen by the wayside, but remain apt and adept today.
Browne's skull and books.
Thomas Browne is now better known for his literary work but in his own time was legendary as the greatest – and first – scientific populariser.
Phonics helps teach children how to merge separate sounds together to make it one word.
Phonics instruction gives children letter-sound knowledge, a skill that is essential for them to read unfamiliar words by themselves.