Lost Letters - An Alphabetic Story


The alphabet is something we learn as small children, the first step toward teaching us how to read (itself the first step in teaching us how to fritter away time reading articles about cats). There are only twenty-six letters, but those twenty-six can be put together to make every word in our language. But how… » 8/14/14 1:00am 8/14/14 1:00am

These Are The Longest Words In The English Language, And They're Insane

What is wrong with the English language? I know it's one of the most difficult languages to learn because it's made entirely out of exceptions and we refuse to acknowledge the rest of the planet's agreed-upon vowel usage. But as Tom Scott shows in his new "Things You Might Not Know" video, this is just madness. » 7/17/14 5:30pm 7/17/14 5:30pm

What Is the Fastest Way to Learn a Foreign Language?

Many of us dream of going to a foreign country and learning some of the local language so we can at least make conversation. But we don't want to spend years doing it. Is there any way to learn a language in a week or two, the way those ads on the internet promise? It's hard to believe, but in some cases, the… » 7/03/14 11:15am 7/03/14 11:15am

From Metaphysics to Teen Wolf Meta: The Evolution of a Word

If you follow genre television, internet fandom, or literary criticism, you've probably heard the word "meta" used to describe everything from a narrative form, to intensive analysis of character backstories in Harry Potter. How did this Greek prefix meaning "beyond" come to mean so much to so many of us? » 6/02/14 1:12pm 6/02/14 1:12pm