Monthly Archives: July, 2012

Get your word in the dictionary!

Have you ever wanted to see that special word you and your friends use featured in the dictionary? Now’s your chance! The Collins Dictionary are inviting submissions from the public for the first time. You can submit your word online, and it will go through an evaluation process. If your word is accepted it will(…)

A-Z of unusual words

An interesting project by The Project Twins showcases an alphabet of unusual words. Originally exhibited last year in Dublin, the prints are visual interpretations of words such as acersecomic (a person whose hair has never been cut) and cacodemonomania (the pathological belief that one is inhabited by an evil spirit). One of my favourite words(…)

Useful fictional alphabets

Did you have a secret diary as a kid? Perhaps written in a language no one but you understood? Now you’re all grown up, why not spice up a boring day at the office by communicating with your colleagues using a fictional alphabet? If you’re all Lord of the Rings fans, there’s a couple alphabets(…)

Stand on the right!

It’s a little less than a week until the start of the Olympic Games, and Londoners are braced for transport chaos. If you’d like to help ease their stress levels, one thing will make a huge difference. That thing is standing on the right on escalators. This simple rule, which you will see on all(…)

New language inspired by Stephen Colbert

Stephen Colbert has perhaps reached the pinnacle of his career – he’s inspired a language. Researchers at Northwestern University in Illinois needed to invent a new language for a study, and chose Colbert as the language’s inspiration. “Stephen Colbert has brought new words like ‘truthiness’ and ‘Lincolnish’ into the lexicon,” Marian said. “We had to(…)

A New York voice provides safe crossing in the city

One man has become the soundtrack to some New York City streets. Dennis Ferrara is a supervisor electrician for the city’s Transportation Department. He’s also the voice of pedestrian signals at 15 intersections, helping pedestrians get across the road safely. There’s nothing unusual about that, you may think. But Mr Ferrara’s voice stands out for(…)

Orangutans communicate with iPads

A bunch of super-cool orangutans at Miami Zoo have learned to communicate with us humans – using iPads. The orangutans handlers are communicating with the animals, using the tablets to identify their wants and needs. They previously communicated using sign language. But whilst you’re never too old to learn to communicate, apparently even orang-utans are(…)

Learn while you sleep?

A new study has found that you may be able to learn a skill while you sleep. Researchers from Northwestern University builds on existing evidence that memory can be reactivated during sleep. They found that learning a piece of music whilst awake, then playing it whilst participants were asleep, reinforced the participants knowledge of it.(…)