World’s Strangest

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7 Things You Should Know About Sign Language

Based on the tremendous reaction to this recent piece about sign language interpretation, we thought you might like to know more about it. Here are seven things about sign language that might surprise you. 1. Different countries have different sign languages. Source This is the sign for the word “math” in two different sign languages—American Sign [...]

The Wisconsin Town That Didn’t Learn English for Five Generations

19th-century map courtesy of Deb Gunther In 1837 an Irishman from New York named John Hustis bought a plot of land 50 miles north of Madison, Wisconsin, and founded the town of Hustisford. For a few years, the town spoke English, the language of the Irish and English families who got there first. Then came the [...]

24 Useful Words From Laádan, a Language Invented to Express a Woman’s Point of View

In 1981, author Suzette Haden Elgin was working on a speech when she began to wonder why feminist science fiction always portrayed either matriarchy, where women were superior to men, or androgyny, where women were equal to men. What about another alternative, where women were simply different from men? Perhaps it was difficult to imagine [...]

The Missing Links: These Two Colors Rule Your Life

How the Blues & the Reds Run Your Life And I’m not talking political parties here. I mean that the actual colors red and blue might be ruling your life. (NSFW Language) * They’re Starting With the Man (Or Woman) In the Mirror Film characters get a good look at themselves. * What Does Panda Meat Taste Like? [...]

11 More Wonderful Words With No English Equivalent

Last summer Bill DeMain shared 15 nuanced words and expressions that simply can’t be said in English. Haley Sweetland Edwards gave you 14 more last fall. It seems no matter how great the English language is, there are plenty of mots justes missing from its lexicon. Here, indulge in a third and final volume of [...]

The Creepiest Ways To Say “I Love You”

Whether you spell it out, say it in a foreign language or use symbols to get your point across, there are plenty of ways to tell someone you love them. Of course, unless you’re a stalker, you probably won’t want to turn to any of these creepy methods seen on Oddee. Link

What Separates Average Computer Programmers from Extraordinary Programmers? Beards.

Some programming languages become widely used. Others languish in obscurity. How can you predict which languages will succeed and which will fail? Tamir Khason has figured it out: it’s not the the language, but the developer. Languages devised by people* with full beards or, in some cases, mighty mustaches, thrive. Those made by the clean-shaven [...]

The Boring Secret of Popular Tweets

You’d think that the most popular tweet would be something funny and witty (like the ones illustrated at our pal Twaggies), but you’d be wrong. Roja Bandari and colleagues from UCLA and HP Labs have cracked the (boring) [...]

11 Languages Spoken by 11 People or Fewer

Vladimir Korostyshevskiy / Shutterstock.com 1. Ho-Chunk is the language of the Hocák Nation, more commonly known as the Winnebago tribe of Wisconsin and Nebraska. In 2004, there were only 11 living fluent speakers of Ho-Chunk, all of whom also use English. 2. In the jungles of Suriname lives a nearly extinct population of people known as [...]

Unknown language found on ancient tablet

Names inscribed on an ancient tablet in cuneiform characters appear to be from an unknown language. Dating back to 700 BC, the tablet was retrieved fr…