Top Stories mind your language
- Ten Words You Never Knew Were Offensive
- 12 Everyday Phrases That People Get Wrong All The Time
- From Murphy To Godwin: Ten Life 'Laws' They Don't Teach In Law School
- Ten Popular Grammar Myths Debunked By A Harvard Linguist
- How Keeping It Simple Can Make Writing Better
- Why The Habit Of Accuracy Matters Whenever You Write
The phrase “cognitive computing” is often bandied about when discussing artificial intelligence, data mining and deep machine learning. But what does it actually mean? During Nvidia’s GTC technology conference, IBM Watson’s chief technology officer Rob High gave a perfect distillation of this complex topic.
Referring to a single person who may be of any gender in English can be tricky. It can be awkward to use words like “one” or phrases like “he or she,” and many a grammarian hates using “they” as to refer to a single person. How has English gotten this far without such a convenient pronoun? Actually, it hasn’t.
Lifehacker’s Mind Your Language column has repeatedly stressed that accuracy matters. According to a new survey conducted by online dating site Zoosk, it can also have a negative impact on your love life, especially for guys. More than 65 per cent of female respondents considered poor grammar to be a total “deal breaker”.
Before a certain fantasy saga by J.R.R Tolkien was published, the only accepted plural for “dwarf” was “dwarfs”. (Hence, Snow White And The Seven Dwarfs.) The plurisation “dwarves” was a deliberate deviation used by Tolkien to lend his prose a mythic quality. If you’re a stickler for accuracy (and not writing a fantasy novel) you’ll be wanting to use the former.
Last week, Microsoft released an official Australian version of Cortana on Windows 10. In addition to having a genuine accent, the Australian version of Cortana will give Aussie-centric response to a range of questions and commands. Does it do a decent job? Read our Q&A session and decide for yourself…
There’s no such thing as a perfect writer. Even professionals make mistakes from time to time, as our readers never fail to point out. (Thanks for keeping us on our toes, guys!) But some writing errors are so boneheaded and easily avoidable that they infuriate pedants and casuals alike. Here are 10 common screw-ups that every writer needs to avoid, from the embarrassing misuse of homophones to confounding double negatives.
These aren’t the sort of laws that a police officer will pull you over for breaking, or that will ever be debated in a courtroom. Nevertheless, common adages that for one reason or another masquerade as ‘laws’ can pop up in everyday conversation — particularly on the internet. In case you’re looking to expand your online vocabulary, we’ve tracked down ten ‘laws’ that govern your life in ways you might not expect.