The English language is constantly evolving, with new words and phrases spreading among us like an infection - we hear things, then we say those things. The problem is that we don't always bother to wonder if we should. Because of that, the original meaning of some demeaning and hateful expressions get lost in time. Here are some widely used examples.
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In Edward Albee's Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf, the character of George is haunted by a decades-old memory of accidentally ordering a "Bergin and water" in a crowded pub. While most of us know the difference between bourbon and gin, it's possible you've made a similar faux pas to the sniggers of nearby barflies without even realising it. Here are 20 popular alcoholic beverages that you might be mispronouncing.
Predicting the future is near impossible -- but that doesn‘t stop us all from having a red hot go. Human beings have been predicting the future since the beginning of history and the results range from the hilarious to the downright uncanny.
One thing all future predictions have in common: they‘re rooted in our current understanding of how the world works. It‘s difficult to escape that mindset. We have no idea how technology will evolve, so our ideas are connected to the technology of today.
Dating terminology has gotten a lot broader - and a lot weirder - since the advent of smartphones, social media and online dating. It seems like every other day there's another pithy metaphor, slang word or acronym to jot down or brush up on.
Whether you're trying to keep up in the Gen Y dating scene or just want to decipher your teenage kid's wholly alien vocabulary, this glossary of love lingo is here to help.
Tomorrow morning, Apple will finally unveil a new suite of iPhones, which will reportedly include an ultra-premium model dubbed the 'iPhone X'. Most people have been pronouncing it as a letter (i.e. - "Ex").
Apparently, this could be incorrect. There's strong reason to believe that Apple is actually using the roman numeral and we're all supposed to call it "iPhone Ten" instead. Here's the evidence.
Every language has its own slang and phrases you should master to sound like a true native speaker. Australian English is no exception.
You may have heard “G’day mate”, “fair dinkum”, and “strewth!” before, but the dialect is much broader than that. Try these next time you speak to an Aussie and you might convince them you’re “true blue”.
Just how likely does "probably" sound to you? To some people, "probably" means that something is practically locked in. To others, it means the likelihood of something happening is highly dubious. This graph assigns percentage values to a range of common phrases relating to probability. Turns out you should say "almost certainly" instead of "probably" if you want to minimise doubt.
At approximately 12am tonight, the 2017 Perseid Meteor Shower is set to wow the world. Many eyewitnesses will use the words "meteor", "meteorite", "comet" and "asteroid" interchangeably to describe the celestial event they're seeing.
In reality, these are all completely different types of space rock. If you want to avoid a social faux pas tonight (or want to be the smarty-pants who corrects fellow stargazers), here's what sets each type apart.
I once heard a comedian say, "Never ask a woman if she's pregnant unless you actually see a baby's head coming out of her legs." Sage advice -- too bad no one ever takes it. I can't tell you how many times people asked me if I was pregnant, if I was planning on getting pregnant or what I was waiting for to get pregnant.
If you were on Twitter in 2014, you doubtlessly remember the Great Potato Dialect War that waged across Australia's state borders for weeks on end. Like most wars, it got ugly, and there were no clear winners on either side.
Now, interstate hostilities have flared up again via a spate of snarky game reviews on JB Hi-Fi. It's time we put an end to this conflict once and for all...
As a youth, I was a prescriptivist. I thought that correcting other people's speech was doing them a favour. I overheard people saying "Where ya at?" into the phone and muttered, "It's 'Where are you?'" I was technically correct, and I sincerely believed that was the best kind of correct. When I finally got my own mobile phone, I realised that "Where are you?" sounds too aggressive, and the softening effect of "Where ya at?" is more important than the grammar.
This week, the financial press reported the downfall of a high-profile grammar pedant, Professor Paul Romer, the World Bank’s chief economist, who was hoist(ed) with his own pedantic petard. But 'grammonds' are people to be celebrated not vilified.
The other day I overheard a conversation that began with, "I'm not racist but..."
It followed with a bog-standard conversation about how people who move to this country should drop everything and dedicate all of their time and energy into learning to speak English. IMMEDIATELY.
Sure, learn to speak English. But here's a newsflash people: English is insanely hard and it makes no goddamn sense, like at all.
Everyone is horrified by how United Airlines has treated a paying passenger it decided to kick off a plane after he had boarded. One minor but chilling aspect of the horror? How United's own comments abuse what language actually means to try and justify its shitty behaviour.
Last week, a 32-year-old man in the US was nearly electrocuted after falling asleep with his iPhone charging in bed. The key word here is "nearly" - a point of difference many journalists failed to make.
As any English teacher or medical student will tell you, electrocution is not the same thing as an electric shock. While the latter can cause serious injury, only the former results in instantaneous death.