A origem do “GRINGO”

April 16, 2014

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Você já se perguntou da onde surgiu o termo “Gringo”? Normalmente associado aos norte americanos? Bom, é para isso que estamos aqui. Fazer perguntas sobre as coisas mais idiotas e depois responde-las!

Começamos pela boa e velha Wikipedia, vejamos o que ela nos tem a dizer:

Gringo é um termo utilizado na América Latina, existente tanto em português quanto em espanhol. Pode denotar significados diferentes de acordo com o país ou a região que é utilizado. De maneira geral, o termo é aplicado para indivíduos estrangeiros, residentes em ou de passagem pelo país, especialmente quando falante de língua inglesa.A versão mais aceita de sua origem vem do espanhol griego, em alusão a expressões como ‘isto é grego para mim’(indicando línguas estrangeiras não compreendidas), e remonta ao século XVIII. Outras versões são popularmente usadas,como o nome da canção Green grow lilacs, cantada pelos soldados americanos na guerra contra o México (1845-1847), na qual os EUA incorporaram o sudoeste e a costa oeste do país, ou as ordens de ferroviários britânicos no Brasil: red stop, green go!, mas são refutadas academicamente. Há certa controvéria se o termo é ou não pejorativo, como também há controvérsia sobre quem é ou não é “gringo” sob o ponto de vista de um brasileiro.

Normalmente, quanto mais alto o nível sócio-econômico de um brasileiro, maior é o número de nacionalidades e culturas a que ele aplica o termo. Brasileiros das camadas sócio-culturais mais baixas (especialmente nortistas e pessoas da região Centro-Oeste e de São Paulo) utilizam o termo para os indivíduos de origem étnica ou cultura anglo-saxónica, como americanos, britânicos, australianos, canadenses, neozelandeses e sul-africanos, enquanto que para os brasileiros das camadas sociais mais altas quase todos os estrangeiros são gringos, até mesmo outros latino-americanos.

Há inclusive casos em que o termo se aplica até mesmo de brasileiros para outros brasileiros. Por exemplo, no estado do Rio Grande do Sul, de forma especial entre os descendentes de imigrantes italianos, “Gringo” refere-se aos descendentes de alemães. Neste caso o termo não é pejorativo, sendo inclusive apelido de alguns descendentes de italianos.

(Wikipedia)

Ela explica bem o que é um “gringo”, mas não fala sobre a origem. Outro site, o Sua Lingua, em um texto redigido por Cláudio Moreno, temos uma resposta um pouco melhor.
Existem vários mitos sobre a palavra, muitos estudiosos acreditam em suas próprias teorias. Alguns etimólogos mexicanos acreditam que a expressão nasceu no seu pais, no século XIX:

Como os mexicanos costumam (ou costumavam) chamar os norte-americanos de gringos, nada mais natural, para os ingênuos etimólogos amadores daquele país, que imaginar que a palavra tivesse sido criada especialmente para eles. Para uns, delirantes, as tropas estado-unidenses que entraram na guerra méxico-americana, na primeira metade do séc. XIX, usariam uniformes predominantemente verdes (“green”, em Inglês), o que propiciou aos mexicanos enfurecidos a oportunidade de gritar “Green, Go!” (/grin go/), algo assim como um improvável “Vão [embora], Verdes” – felizmente substituído, no séc. XX, pelo tradicional “yankees, go home”.

(Sua Lingua-Gringo)

Outra teria vem de um lugar mais distante, geograficamente e no passado, na extinta URSS, durante a segunda grande guerra:

Outros preferiram seguir uma vereda musical, mas não menos delirante: segundo esta versão, os soldados de Tio Sam, prenunciando assim o famoso Coro do Exército Vermelho, da extinta URSS, costumavam cantar em uníssono, à volta das fogueiras do acampamento, uma canção muito em voga na época, cujo refrão era “Green grow the lilacs”; ora, nada mais natural que os nativos passassem a usar a designação pejorativa de “green grow” (/gringro/) para aqueles surrealistas soldados cantores. Daí para /gringo/ era um pequeno passo.

(Sua Lingua-Gringo)

A verdade é que a palavra tem uma origem bem mais simples. Sim, eu enrolei vocês até aqui. É bom conhecer também as respostas erradas.
Gringo vem de “Griego”, que por sua vez se originou da palavra “Grego”. Está documentado desde 1787 no Dicionário da Real Academia Espanhola.

Griego: usada para designar qualquer língua exótica e difícil de entender. Com o tempo – que é o pai dos significados -, passou a indicar também o falante dessas línguas incompreensíveis.

(Sua Lingua-Gringo)

No fundo é o mesmo que dizer “Uma pessoa que fala grego”, gringo seria uma pessoa que fala “grego”, uma pessoa que fala “uma língua difícil de se entender”.
A ligação da lingua grega com o termo “dificil de entender” surgiu na idade média, quando eruditos que liam passagens em latin encontravam alguma expressão grega. “É grego; não pode ser lido” – diziam eles.
Por isso nos tempos de hoje, quando alguém fala algum termo “difícil”, as vezes você diz “para mim você está falando grego”.
“Gringo” não é algo Brasileiro, nem mesmo americano. Na própria Europa, a muito tempo já era utilizado. Apenas virou moda por aqui ao se falar dos Norte Americanos.

Conhecimento é poder pequeno gafanhoto. Lembre-se disso!

Fonte: http://neuronioshiperativos.blogspot.com.br/2008/10/qual-origem-da-palavra-gringo.html


History of Prepositions

April 14, 2014

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Over and over again, students who are learning English tell me how difficult it is for them to learn prepositions. They ask questions such as “Am I in a restaurant or at a restaurant?” It’s frustrating, but I have to tell them that both are OK. In some circumstances the phrases can have different meanings (e.g., if you are waiting for someone outside a restaurant, you are at the restaurant, not in the restaurant; but if you are inside, you can be both in or at Denny’s.)

History of Prepositions

Prepositions have a fascinating history in English, and to understand where they come from, it helps to understand the concept of inflection. An inflection is a bit that’s added to the beginning, middle, or end of a word to convey additional meaning. For example, the apostrophe-s in English is an example of an inflection—it marks possession. Cole’s pen means the pen belongs to Cole. Maybe your native language has inflectional endings that serve the same role that many prepositions do in English. Serbian, German, and many Native American languages, for example, are more inflected than English. (Latin is also highly inflected.) 

It turns out that Old English was an inflected language. The word endings conveyed meaning, but during the transition to Middle English, nearly all the inflections were lost. Nobody knows why for certain, but scholars speculate it has to do with the difficulty of hearing the differences in pronunciation between similar endings such as -on-en, and -an; and the interactions between English speakers and the Vikings who spoke Old Norse.

When English lost its inflectional endings, people still had to convey the meanings that the inflectional endings provided, so during the Middle English period, people gradually started using prepositions instead. For example, according to the Cambridge Encyclopedia of the English Language (CEEL), “where Old English would have said þæm scipum, with a ‘dative’ ending on both the words for the and ship, Middle English came to say “to the shippes,” using a preposition and the common plural ending.” 

Prepositions Are Some of the Most Common Words in English

Slowly, prepositions gained popularity in English, and today, they are some of the most common words we use. A 1992 study cited in CEEL determined that “of” was the second-most commonly used English word (after “the”). In addition, the top 50 also included the prepositions intowithatforonby, and fromA different study based on the British National Corpus and posted at About.com has of at number three, and includes a nearly identical list of prepositions in the top 50.  

Prepositions Are Hard to Pin Down

Perhaps because they’re so common, preposition are notoriously hard to pin down. They often have multiple and overlapping meanings, as our “in the restaurant/at the restaurant” situation showed. Merriam-Webster’s online dictionary has 10 different meanings for the preposition on. For example, on can describe being in contact with something (the book is lying on the table) or your participation in something (I’m on the team). CEEL notes that the preposition over can give a sense of position (the clock over the mantle), movement across (he climbed over the wall), and accompanying circumstances (we’ll talk over dinner). (Are you native English speakers feeling sorry for people trying to learn English yet?)

Further, prepositions are an area where there’s a lot of regional variation. People in New York City, New Jersey, Connecticut, Massachusetts, and possibly Philadelphia who are lined up for concert tickets are more likely to say they’re standing on line, whereas everywhere else in the United States, we’re more likely to say we’re standing in line. Both are grammatically correct; it’s just a regional difference. (1) There’s at least one generational difference in American English too. Older people are more likely to say something happened by accident whereas younger people are more likely to say something happened on accident. (2)

British English Versus American English

People speaking British English sometimes use different prepositions from people speaking American English too. In the US, we’d say something is different from (the standard) something else, or perhaps that something is different than something else (less acceptable, but still common), but in Britain, you might also hear that something is differentto something else, which sounds very odd to American ears. (3) In US English, we’d say Bloomingdales is on 59th Street, but in Britain, they’d say Harrods is in Brompton Road. (4, 5, 6)

In South Asian English, people say they pay attention on something instead of pay attentionto something, (7) and in Scottish English, people sometimes use from the way we’d use by. (8)

My Secret Preposition Weapon

With all this diversity and confusion, what’s a writer to do, especially when he or she doesn’t have a natural feel for the language?

Here’s my secret weapon: Google Books Ngram Viewer. Using this tool, you can see the frequency of phrases in books that Google has scanned–millions of books, many of which went through an editing process, which means they’re more representative of Standard English than a plain old Google Internet search. 

If you aren’t sure whether you should write “We were in the restaurant,” or “We were at the restaurant,” you can search for those phrases and see that although both are in use, “in the restaurant” is a bit more common. If you’ve heard people say both “on accident” and “by accident,” and you’re confused, you can plug those words into the Google Ngram Viewerand see that “by accident” is far more common—it’s still the phrase that’s considered Standard English.

You can even limit your search to American English or British English to get a better answer for the particular place you live.

Summary

The bottom line is that if you’re learning English, you’re going to have to memorize a lot of prepositions and deal with things that don’t always make sense or questions that don’t always have answers, but you too can use the Google Books Ngram Viewer as a secret weapon and most of the time you can find an answer to the “which preposition should I use” question.

Source: http://www.quickanddirtytips.com/education/grammar/prepositions?page=2


25 Amazing Facts about Countries Around the World

April 9, 2014

From the website List25 comes this amazing list of 25 Things you Wouldn’t Believeabout 25 countries around the world. So fascinating we thought we would share!

Depending upon your definition, and whether or not you count Taiwan, there are “approximately” 196 countries in the world as of this writing. So while you may consider yourself to be a knowledgeable global citizen, and we’re sure you are, given the dynamic and complex nature of our planet there are certain to be at least a couple facts on this list that you will find surprising. Here are 25 things that you wouldn’t believe about these countries.

25: Covers the most time zones – France

France

If you count everything, including overseas territories, then France claims the title by covering 12 time zones. The United States would be the runner-up with 11 and then Russia with 9.

24: Most likely to disappear beneath the waves – Maldives

Maldives

With all the talks of global warming and rising sea levels, it is the residents of the Maldives that have the greatest reason to fear. With an average height of around 1.8 meters above sea level their nation is the lowest on Earth.

23: Most overweight population – Nauru

Nauru
With over 95% of its population being overweight, the small island nation of Nauru is by far the fattest country on Earth. Its obesity epidemic is primarily attributed to the importation of western fast food that coincided with an increased standard of living in the 20th century due to the global popularity of its phosphate exports. It’s almost non sequitur…almost.

22: Roads made of coral – Guam

Guam

photo – theworldgeography.com

Because Guam doesn’t have any natural sand, but rather coral, the island nation makes its asphalt using a mix of ground coral and oil rather than importing sand from abroad.

21: Has 350 sheep for every person – Falkand Islands (UK)

Falkland Islands

With only about 3,000 people the Falkland Islands are home to approximately half-a million-sheep. Not surprisingly wool is a major export.

20: Oldest sovereign state – Egypt

Egypt

This largely depends upon your definition of a sovereign state but if you are going by first acquisition of sovereignty then Egypt would be the first country in the world to achieve sovereignty based upon the formation of the first dynasty in 3100 BC.

19: Most lakes in the world – Canada

Canada

With over 3 million lakes 9% of Canadian territory is actually fresh water and over 60% of all the lakes in the world are found within its borders.

18: Least likely place to meet your neighbor – Mongolia

Mongolia

photo – theatlantic.com

At 4 people per square mile Mongolia is the least densely populated country on Earth. Compare this to the Mong Kok district of Hong Kong that has the highest population density in the world with 340,000 people per square mile.

17: Largest number of tanks – Russia

Russian tanks

It is a strange title to hold, but Russia has by far the most tanks of any army in the world (21,000). Unfortunately for the motherland most of these outdated machines are tributes to its past, and although outnumbered (16,000), the United States has a much more advanced tank inventory.

16: The land of no rivers – Saudi Arabia

Saudi Arabia

photo – americanbedu.com

Sounds a bit strange doesn’t it? For a country as big as Saudi Arabia there has to be at least some sort of flowing water. Well, there isn’t. Most of their fresh water comes from desalinization plants or underground reservoirs.

15: Youngest population of any country – Niger

Niger

Generally the worlds youngest country is determined by calculating the portion of the population that is younger than 15. Presently it is Niger that holds this distinction with roughly half of its population having barely reached puberty (49%).

14: Most diverse country in the world – India

India

In almost every category – culturally, economically, climatically, racially, linguistically, ethnically, and religiously India is either the most diverse countries in the world, or the runner-up.

13: Fastest disappearing nation – Ukraine

Ukraine

With a natural decrease in population of .8% annually, between now and 2050 Ukraine is expected to lose around 30% of its people.

12: Most of its citizens live abroad – Malta

Malta

After some rough economic times coupled with an increased birth rate, Malta experienced significant immigration. It was so significant that there are now more Maltese living abroad than within the country itself.

11: Smaller than Central Park in New York City – Monaco

Monaco

Although Vatican City is smaller (.17 sq mi) than Monaco (.8 sq mi), unlike Monaco it doesn’t have any permanent residents which leaves Monaco as the smallest permanently inhabited nation in the world…smaller than Central Park.

10: Almost entirely covered in jungle – Suriname

Suriname

With 91% of its land covered in jungle Suriname’s half-a-million residents live primarily along the coast near the capital. Only 5% of the population (mainly indigenous people) live inland.

9: Almost entirely treeless – Haiti

Haiti

On the opposite end of the spectrum is Haiti, a country that has been so badly deforested that you can tell where it borders the Dominican Republic by looking at a satellite image (Haiti is on the left in the photo above).

8: Largest country with no farms – Singapore

Singapore

photo – nationalgeographic.com

Although there are a number of small nations in the world that show no hint of having an agriculture based economy, (take Vatican City for example) Singapore is the largest of these urban city-states.

7: Most languages spoken – Papua New Guinea

Papua New Guinea

photo – nationalgeographic.com

Although English is its official language, only 1-2% of the population actually speak it. As the most linguistically diverse country in the world, over 820 languages are spoken in Papua New Guinea or 12% of the world’s total.

6: Most educated people – Canada

Canadian university

With 50% of its population having been educated at the post secondary level, Canada easily has the most educated populace in the world. It is followed by Israel at 45% and Japan at 44%.

5: The “country desert” – Libya

Libya

With 99% of the country covered in desert Libya is one of the most arid places in the world and in some regions decades may go by without a single drop of rain.

4: Least peaceful nation in the world – Somalia

Somalia

photo – latimes.com

Although for the last three years Iraq has been ranked as the least peaceful country in the world, according to the Global Peace Index Somalia overtook it this year for the top spot.

3: Produces most of the world’s oxygen – Russia

Siberian forest

Siberia is home to approximately 25% of the world’s forests that span an area larger than the continental United States, making Russia the largest converter of CO2 into breathable compounds.

2: World’s largest opium producer – Afghanistan

poppies in Afghanistan

photo – wikimedia

Producing a whopping 95 percent of the world’s opium, not even 10 years of occupation by American forces have slowed down the industry.

1: Most people behind bars – United States

American prison

When it comes to incarcerating its population, the United States is the world’s uncontested leader. With 2.2 million people behind bars it has 5% of the world’s population but 25% of the world’s incarcerated population. China comes in second place at 1.5 million and Russia comes third at 870,000.


185 Powerful Verbs That Will Make Your Resume Awesome

April 7, 2014

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Led… Handled… Managed… Responsible for… Most resume bullet points start with the same words. Frankly, the same tired old words hiring managers have heard over and over—to the point where they’ve lost a lot of their meaning and don’t do much to show off your awesome accomplishments. So, let’s get a little more creative, shall we? Next time you update your resume, switch up a few of those common words and phrases with strong, compelling action verbs that will catch hiring managers’ eyes. No matter what duty or accomplishment you’re trying to show off, we’ve got just the verb for you. Check out the list below, and get ready to make your resume way more exciting.

You Led a Project If you were in charge of a project or initiative from start to finish, skip “led” and instead try: 1. Chaired 2. Controlled 3. Coordinated 4. Executed 5. Headed 6. Operated 7. Orchestrated 8. Organized 9. Oversaw 10. Planned 11. Produced 12. Programmed You Envisioned and Brought to Life a Project And if you actually developed, created, or introduced that project into your company? Try: 13. Administered 14. Built 15. Charted 16. Created 17. Designed 18. Developed 19. Devised 20. Founded 21. Engineered 22. Established 23. Formalized 24. Formed 25. Formulated 26. Implemented 27. Incorporated 28. Initiated 29. Instituted 30. Introduced 31. Launched 32. Pioneered 33. Spearheaded

You Saved the Company Time or Money Hiring managers love candidates who’ve helped a team operate more efficiently or cost-effectively. To show just how much you saved, try: 34. Conserved 35. Consolidated 36. Decreased 37. Deducted 38. Diagnosed 39. Lessened 40. Reconciled 41. Reduced 42. Yielded

You Increased Efficiency, Sales, Revenue, or Customer Satisfaction Along similar lines, if you can show that your work boosted the company’s numbers in some way, you’re bound to impress. In these cases, consider: 43. Accelerated 44. Achieved 45. Advanced 46. Amplified 47. Boosted 48. Capitalized 49. Delivered 50. Enhanced 51. Expanded 52. Expedited 53. Furthered 54. Gained 55. Generated 56. Improved 57. Lifted 58. Maximized 59. Outpaced 60. Stimulated 61. Sustained

You Changed or Improved Something So, you brought your department’s invoicing system out of the Stone Age and onto the interwebs? Talk about the amazing changes you made at your office with these words: 62. Centralized 63. Clarified 64. Converted 65. Customized 66. Influenced 67. Integrated 68. Merged 69. Modified 70. Overhauled 71. Redesigned 72. Refined 73. Refocused 74. Rehabilitated 75. Remodeled 76. Reorganized 77. Replaced 78. Restructured 79. Revamped 80. Revitalized 81. Simplified 82. Standardized 83. Streamlined 84. Strengthened 85. Updated 86. Upgraded 87. Transformed

You Managed a Team Instead of reciting your management duties, like “Led a team…” or “Managed employees…” show what an inspirational leader you were, with terms like: 88. Aligned 89. Cultivated 90. Directed 91. Enabled 92. Facilitated 93. Fostered 94. Guided 95. Hired 96. Inspired 97. Mentored 98. Mobilized 99. Motivated 100. Recruited 101. Regulated 102. Shaped 103. Supervised 104. Taught 105. Trained 106. Unified 107. United You Brought in Partners, Funding, or Resources Were you “responsible for” a great new partner, sponsor, or source of funding? Try: 108. Acquired 109. Forged 110. Navigated 111. Negotiated 112. Partnered 113. Secured

You Supported Customers Because manning the phones or answering questions really means you’re advising customers and meeting their needs, use: 114. Advised 115. Advocated 116. Arbitrated 117. Coached 118. Consulted 119. Educated 120. Fielded 121. Informed 122. Resolved

You Were a Research Machine Did your job include research, analysis, or fact-finding? Mix up your verbiage with these words: 123. Analyzed 124. Assembled 125. Assessed 126. Audited 127. Calculated 128. Discovered 129. Evaluated 130. Examined 131. Explored 132. Forecasted 133. Identified 134. Interpreted 135. Investigated 136. Mapped 137. Measured 138. Qualified 139. Quantified 140. Surveyed 141. Tested 142. Tracked

You Wrote or Communicated Was writing, speaking, lobbying, or otherwise communicating part of your gig? You can explain just how compelling you were with words like: 143. Authored 144. Briefed 145. Campaigned 146. Co-authored 147. Composed 148. Conveyed 149. Convinced 150. Corresponded 151. Counseled 152. Critiqued 153. Defined 154. Documented 155. Edited 156. Illustrated 157. Lobbied 158. Persuaded 159. Promoted 160. Publicized 161. Reviewed

You Oversaw or Regulated Whether you enforced protocol or managed your department’s requests, describe what you really did, better, with these words: 162. Authorized 163. Blocked 164. Delegated 165. Dispatched 166. Enforced 167. Ensured 168. Inspected 169. Itemized 170. Monitored 171. Screened 172. Scrutinized 173. Verified

You Achieved Something Did you hit your goals? Win a coveted department award? Don’t forget to include that on your resume, with words like: 174. Attained 175. Awarded 176. Completed 177. Demonstrated 178. Earned 179. Exceeded 180. Outperformed 181. Reached 182. Showcased 183. Succeeded 184. Surpassed 185. Targeted

Source:  https://www.themuse.com/advice/185-powerful-verbs-that-will-make-your-resume-awesome


Reflexive Pronouns

April 2, 2014
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reflexive (adj.) [grammar]: reflecting back on the subject, like a mirror

We use a reflexive pronoun when we want to refer back to the subject of the sentence or clause. Reflexive pronouns end in “-self” (singular) or “-selves” (plural).

There are eight reflexive pronouns:

reflexive pronoun
singular myself
yourself
himself
, herself, itself
plural ourselves
yourselves
themselves

Look at these examples:

reflexive pronouns
the underlined words are NOT the same person/thing the underlined words are the SAME person/thing
John saw me. I saw myself in the mirror.
Why does he blame you? Why do you blame yourself?
David sent him a copy. John sent himself a copy.
David sent her a copy. Mary sent herself a copy.
My dog hurt the cat. My dog hurt itself.
We blame you. We blame ourselves.
Can you help my children? Can you help yourselves?
They cannot look after the babies. They cannot look after themselves.

Intensive pronouns

Notice that all the above reflexive pronouns can also act as intensive pronouns, but the function and usage are different. An intensive pronoun emphasizes its antecedent. Look at these examples:

  • I made it myself. OR I myself made it.
  • Have you yourself seen it? OR Have you seen it yourself?
  • The President himself promised to stop the war.
  • She spoke to me herself. OR She herself spoke to me.
  • The exam itself wasn’t difficult, but exam room was horrible.
  • Never mind. We’ll do it ourselves.
  • You yourselves asked us to do it.
  • They recommend this book even though they themselves have never read it. OR They recommend this book even though they have never read it themselves.

Source – http://www.englishclub.com/grammar/pronouns-reflexive.htm


5 examples of how the languages we speak can affect the way we think

March 31, 2014

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Economist Keith Chen starts today’s talk with an observation: to say, “This is my uncle,” in Chinese, you have no choice but to encode more information about said uncle. The language requires that you denote the side the uncle is on, whether he’s related by marriage or birth and, if it’s your father’s brother, whether he’s older or younger. Keith Chen: Could your language affect your ability to save money?

“All of this information is obligatory. Chinese doesn’t let me ignore it,” says Chen. “In fact, if I want to speak correctly, Chinese forces me to constantly think about it.”

This got Chen wondering: Is there a connection between language and how we think and behave? In particular, Chen wanted to know: does our language affect our economic decisions?

Chen designed a study — which he describes in detail in this blog post — to look at how language might affect individual’s ability to save for the future. According to his results, it does — big time.

While “futured languages,” like English, distinguish between the past, present and future, “futureless languages,” like Chinese, use the same phrasing to describe the events of yesterday, today and tomorrow. Using vast inventories of data and meticulous analysis, Chen found that huge economic differences accompany this linguistic discrepancy. Futureless language speakers are 30 percent more likely to report having saved in any given year than futured language speakers. (This amounts to 25 percent more savings by retirement, if income is held constant.) Chen’s explanation: When we speak about the future as more distinct from the present, it feels more distant — and we’re less motivated to save money now in favor of monetary comfort years down the line.

But that’s only the beginning. There’s a wide field of research on the link between language and both psychology and behavior. Here, a few fascinating examples:

  1. Navigation and Pormpuraawans
    In Pormpuraaw, an Australian Aboriginal community, you wouldn’t refer to an object as on your “left” or “right,” but rather as “northeast” or “southwest,” writes Stanford psychology professor Lera Boroditsky (and an expert in linguistic-cultural connections) in the Wall Street Journal. About a third of the world’s languages discuss space in these kinds of absolute terms rather than the relative ones we use in English, according to Boroditsky. “As a result of this constant linguistic training,” she writes, “speakers of such languages are remarkably good at staying oriented and keeping track of where they are, even in unfamiliar landscapes.” On a research trip to Australia, Boroditsky and her colleague found that Pormpuraawans, who speak Kuuk Thaayorre, not only knew instinctively in which direction they were facing, but also always arranged pictures in a temporal progression from east to west.
    .
  2. Blame and English Speakers
    In the same article, Boroditsky notes that in English, we’ll often say that someone broke a vase even if it was an accident, but Spanish and Japanese speakers tend to say that the vase broke itself. Boroditsky describes a study by her student Caitlin Fausey in which English speakers were much more likely to remember who accidentally popped balloons, broke eggs, or spilled drinks in a video than Spanish or Japanese speakers. (Guilt alert!) Not only that, but there’s a correlation between a focus on agents in English and our criminal-justice bent toward punishing transgressors rather than restituting victims, Boroditsky argues.
    .
  3. Color among Zuñi and Russian Speakers
    Our ability to distinguish between colors follows the terms in which we describe them, as Chen notes in the academic paper in which he presents his research (forthcoming in the American Economic Review; PDF here). A 1954 study found that Zuñi speakers, who don’t differentiate between orange and yellow, have trouble telling them apart. Russian speakers, on the other hand, have separate words for light blue (goluboy) and dark blue (siniy). According to a 2007 study, they’re better than English speakers at picking out blues close to the goluboy/siniy threshold.
    .
  4. Gender in Finnish and Hebrew
    In Hebrew, gender markers are all over the place, whereas Finnish doesn’t mark gender at all, Boroditsky writes in Scientific American (PDF). A study done in the 1980s found that, yup, thought follows suit: kids who spoke Hebrew knew their own genders a year earlier than those who grew up speaking Finnish. (Speakers of English, in which gender referents fall in the middle, were in between on that timeline, too.)

Source – http://blog.ted.com/2013/02/19/5-examples-of-how-the-languages-we-speak-can-affect-the-way-we-think/


The Oxford Comma Is Extremely Important And Everyone Should Be Using It

March 26, 2014

I don’t care if it’s “technically” not required. USE THE COMMA!

SO if you didn’t know, the Oxford comma is basically the most important punctuation mark of all time.

SO if you didn't know, the Oxford comma is basically the most important punctuation mark of all time.

Style experts disagree on whether or not the Oxford comma (also called the serial comma) is required but that is a stupid argument because CLEARLY YOU SHOULD USE IT.

Look, without the Oxford comma, you’re basically forcing world leaders into exotic dancing. YOU DID THIS TO THEM.

Look, without the Oxford comma, you're basically forcing world leaders into exotic dancing. YOU DID THIS TO THEM.

Also, do you really want people to think you are talking to your breakfast foods? WELL DO YOU???

Also, do you really want people to think you are talking to your breakfast foods? WELL DO YOU???

Without the Oxford comma, you’re making Barack marry Castro. Don’t do that to Michelle. She does not deserve that.

Without the Oxford comma, you're making Barack marry Castro. Don't do that to Michelle. She does not deserve that.

And Tim Tebow is not descended from the unholy union of God and the cruel tyrant from Matilda, OK? He just isn’t.

And Tim Tebow is not descended from the unholy union of God and the cruel tyrant from Matilda , OK? He just isn't.

Also, Miley and JLaw are not puppies. THIS WEIRD INTERSPECIES TWERK MACHINE SHOULD NOT EXIST.

Also, Miley and JLaw are not puppies. THIS WEIRD INTERSPECIES TWERK MACHINE SHOULD NOT EXIST.

pbh2.com / Lucas Jackson / Reuters / Lawrence K. Ho/Los Angeles Times / MCT

AND ARE YOU REALLY GOING TO CALL NELSON MANDELA AN 800-YEAR-OLD DILDO COLLECTOR? NELSON. MANDELA.

AND ARE YOU REALLY GOING TO CALL NELSON MANDELA AN 800-YEAR-OLD DILDO COLLECTOR? NELSON. MANDELA.

Also, let’s be clear that Vampire Weekend was being extremely cavalier about the Oxford comma thing because PLENTY OF PEOPLE GIVE A FUCK ABOUT AN OXFORD COMMA.

Also, let's be clear that Vampire Weekend was being extremely cavalier about the Oxford comma thing because PLENTY OF PEOPLE GIVE A FUCK ABOUT AN OXFORD COMMA.

This guy said he didn’t care about the Oxford comma on his dating profile and totally ruined any chance he had of a relationship because it’s THAT important.

This guy said he didn't care about the Oxford comma on his dating profile and totally ruined any chance he had of a relationship because it's THAT important.

So just remember next time you’re wondering if you should use the Oxford comma — YES.

It is important, amazing, and VITAL.

Source: http://www.buzzfeed.com/adamdavis/the-oxford-comma-is-extremely-important-and-everyone-should


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