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Language

Using Big Data To Save A Language

Nataly Kelly | Posted 04.11.2013 | TED Weekends
Nataly Kelly

2013-01-18-TEDplayvideoWith a large enough dataset, all a language really needs is a community of motivated users in order to stay alive -- or even to come back from the dead.

What Decides A Baby's First Words?

Lisa Belkin | Posted 04.10.2013 | TED Weekends
Lisa Belkin

2013-01-18-TEDplayvideoCan the sounds we choose first really capture who we will become over time? Or do we give them added meaning with hindsight, because we have waited for them so long?

The Birth Of A Word

Deb Roy | Posted 04.10.2013 | TED Weekends
Deb Roy

2013-02-07-debroypullWith a near-complete record of life at home over the first two years of my son's life, we were able to pinpoint each time he learned to say a new word. We could then trace back in time to find each occasion where he heard that word from caregivers -- the "gestation" period leading to the word's birth.

E-lit Plays With Language

Illya Szilak | Posted 02.07.2013 | Books
Illya Szilak

Media, like language, are processes through which information is stored, accessed and presented in certain ways to the relative exclusion (mastery) of others.

Language Changes Distance and Mood

Art Markman, Ph.D. | Posted 04.08.2013 | Science
Art Markman, Ph.D.

We all know that thinking about happy memories can make you happy, while thinking about sad events from the past can make you sad. An interesting paper in Psychological Science by William Hart examined this question of mental closeness using language.

Simplifying Our Language: A Defense of Agnosticism

Vlad Chituc | Posted 04.06.2013 | Religion
Vlad Chituc

I don't think it's too controversial to expect the language and labels we use to tell us something substantive about what we believe. As it stands, though, the words "atheist" and "agnostic" don't really tell us much at all.

"What's the Bad Word?"

Jerry Zezima | Posted 03.24.2013 | Comedy
Jerry Zezima

I know cliches like the back of my hand and I've always thought that people should avoid them like the plague.

A Muslim Reflection On Dr. King's Legacy Of Peace Through Words

Najeeba Syeed-Miller | Posted 03.23.2013 | Religion
Najeeba Syeed-Miller

As I reflect on why Dr. King so profoundly affected my journey as a peacemaker, it is because he exemplified that capacity to elevate discourse by harnessing the resources of language to move the level of discussion deeper and higher.

Beyond the N-Word: Falling Over the Cliff Debating Django

Emmett D. Carson | Posted 03.19.2013 | Black Voices
Emmett D. Carson

With all the problems facing African Americans, it is hard to believe the amount of time that is being wasted debating the merits of Quentin Tarantino's hit new "comedy," Django Unchained. What should we be talking about instead?

The Effects of ADHD on Communication

Mark Bertin, M.D. | Posted 03.18.2013 | Parents
Mark Bertin, M.D.

Managing ADHD is never about addressing attention or impulsivity alone. ADHD represents a deficit in executive function, a skill set that includes attention, impulse control... and far more.

10 Things You Need to Stop Saying in 2013

Michael Cohen | Posted 03.12.2013 | Miami
Michael Cohen

We need to stop abbreviating life, dump the clichés and expressions that have been abused ad nauseam. Here, 10 things that you should drop like its hot (including that annoying Yayyy!!!) in 2013. Are you like, ready?

Of Sugar Coats and Straight Jackets

Arnie Reisman | Posted 03.09.2013 | Politics
Arnie Reisman

Of course, words and images can undergo changes in meanings. What used to be acceptable can slip into disreputable. Suddenly, for example, sacrifice and compromise become dirty words. It would be nice if we could rise above such fears, control our hackles, keep our economy afloat.

The Woman With Two Brains

Benjamin K. Bergen | Posted 03.08.2013 | TED Weekends
Benjamin K. Bergen

The two hemispheres of the brain are extremely similar from their global organization down to the minute details like the distribution of specific neurotransmitters used in particular corresponding regions across the two hemispheres.

Seriously Annoying Words, Like 'Fiscal Cliff' and Whatever

Tony Phillips | Posted 03.04.2013 | Weird News
Tony Phillips

The thing about annoying speech is that it comes in more than the adolescent variety. It's easy enough to pick on the youth, because for one thing, they're idiots. But idiocy knows no age.

Consumer is a Four-Letter Word

Kent Valentine | Posted 03.04.2013 | Business
Kent Valentine

We like to put people into buckets so we can think about more of them at the same time, and one of the biggest buckets we use is "consumer." Ironically enough, people are "better consumers" when they're treated like anything but.

How Learning to Talk to a Cowboy Made Me a Better American

Alisa Valdes-Rodriguez | Posted 03.04.2013 | Books
Alisa Valdes-Rodriguez

It was in this way that we came to realize my liberal emotion attached to "tolerance for differences" was best communicated to a conservative as "personal freedom," which in turn was best communicated to a liberal as "independence."

Mayan Calendar Prophecy Demystified

Mitch Ditkoff | Posted 03.01.2013 | Comedy
Mitch Ditkoff

Apparently, there has been some kind of mix up with the whole "2012 Mayan Calendar" thing. A new translation of an ancient Mayan text -- "The Axhumuc...

Dr. Lydia Soifer: On the Right Words After Tragedy

92nd Street Y | Posted 02.18.2013 | Parents
92nd Street Y

Language specialist Dr. Lydia Soifer spoke with us about the right words after tragedies like the Connecticut school shooting. Soifer uses the example...

The AP Ends 'Homophobia,' Though Not Homophobia

Floyd Elliot | Posted 02.09.2013 | Media
Floyd Elliot

The AP Style Book editors' recent decision to ban use of the word "homophobia" as imprecise has certainly not ended homophobia, though it has robbed the AP's reporters of an important word used to describe a phenomenon that, sadly, they have written about frequently.

Blame This Guy For The Worst Word Of 2012

Zoë Triska | Posted 02.09.2013 | Books
Zoë Triska

If I have to hear or see "YOLO" one more time, I'm going to rip out my eyes and ear drums (not really, but I'm a big fan of hyperbole).

Special Needs Holiday Gift Guide 2012

Jaime Openden, M.S., CCC-SLP | Posted 02.02.2013 | Parents
Jaime Openden, M.S., CCC-SLP

With the holiday season fast approaching, everyone is scrambling to purchase the perfect present. But fret not! Fun and education can mix and not break the bank.

Inspiring Passages For Writers

Constance Hale | Posted 01.30.2013 | Books
Constance Hale

Most of us learn pretty quickly (like, by age 2) that we need verbs to express our deepest desires. But my serious crush on verbs started when, as a writer, I tried to figure out not just what makes sentences tick, but what makes a readers sit up and pay attention to a passage

In Defense of Jargon

Colleen Glenney Boggs | Posted 01.27.2013 | Media
Colleen Glenney Boggs

Why does jargon have such power? How does it draw our attention to itself and away from the things it is describing? Why, that is, does jargon itself seem to bring about "epistemic closure"?

Is Human Intellect on the Downward Slide?

Rob Brooks | Posted 01.20.2013 | Science
Rob Brooks

Humans are complex animals. Our intelligence is a complex adaptation. And the diverse and surprising ways in which we use it today suggest that we owe it to more than a handful of simplistic evolutionary scenarios.

The Dark Reality of Secession Fantasy

Gareth_Price | Posted 01.19.2013 | Politics
Gareth_Price

The curious aspect of U.S. state secession is that the agitation is not to become more Floridian, Tennessean, or Alabamian. Instead, secessionists define their states as more American than America itself.