Topic: words

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Where do new words come from? – TED Ed

There are over 170,000 words currently in use in the English language. Yet every year, about a thousand new words are added to the Oxford English Dictionary. Where do they come from, and how do they make it into our e...

What does the word ‘theory’ mean in science?

There’s an important difference between a scientific theory and the fanciful theories of an imaginative raconteur, and this quirk of semantics can lead to an all-too-common misconception. In general conversation, a ‘t...

Poet on the Shore by Yuxi Liu

An autonomous robot rolls across the beach. Though it might stop moving, its sensors haven't stopped taking in information about its surrounding environment: the waves, the wind, the sounds of people and animals both ...

Why Is A Group Of Crows Called A “Murder”?

A leap of leopards, a flamboyance of flamingos, a barrel of monkeys, a murmuration of starlings: Collective nouns for animals are fun and full of personality and information, but how did these descriptions come about?...

Making art with everyday objects: Christoph Niemann

Award-winning artist and author Christoph Niemann has quite a few books and apps for kids of all ages -- I Lego N.Y., Words, as well as Petting Zoo and Chomp. In this Quartz video, he shares examples from his new book...

How are streets, roads, and avenues different?

A road, a street, an avenue, a boulevard, a drive, a parkway, a beltway... and that just gets us started! What's the difference between each of these thoroughfares? This Vox video by Phil Edwards and Gina Barton helps...

A Guide To Spelling by this year’s youngest Spelling Bee competitor

The youngest contestant to participate in this year's National Spelling Bee was Akash Vukoti, a 6 year old Texan who made it to round 3 of the competition. In this video from Vox, Vukoti explains what contestants are ...

How did clouds get their names? – TED Ed

In daydreaming out the window as a kid, Luke Howard began to informally study the constantly changing clouds in the sky. In 1802, he was the first to name cloud forms, as well as a variety of transitional cloud types....

Odd – Mysteries of Vernacular

Odd. Odd. Say it a few times, and the word 'odd' sounds odd. Peculiar. Different from what is usual or expected. Of course, we also know that odd numbers can't be divided evenly into two groups. But where did this odd...

Nat & Lo’s 20% Project – Behind the scenes at Google

At Google, there's a side project/perk/philosophy called "20% time" that encourages employees to spend one day a week working on their own Google-focused ideas and inventions. Googlers Natalie Hammel and Lorraine Yurs...

Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch

Channel 4 News Welsh weather presenter Liam Dutton pronounced Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch during his weather report, and it's quickly gone viral. His smooth pronunciation is impressive t...

Buffalo buffalo buffalo! One-word sentences & how they work

How exactly does ‘Buffalo buffalo Buffalo buffalo buffalo buffalo Buffalo buffalo’ make any sense as communication? Repeating the word eight times may sound nonsensical and maze-like, but this TED Ed by Emma Bryce exp...

Who’s on First – Abbott & Costello (1953)

William "Bud" Abbott and Lou Costello were vaudeville comedians who became famous in radio, film, and television as Abbott and Costello. In 1938, they performed Who's on First, a rapid-fire routine that had been rewor...

Ukulele – Mysteries of Vernacular

How did a small four-string guitar that was not invented in Hawaii end up with a Hawaiian name that means Jumping Flea? Let's go back to the 19th century when Portuguese travelers brought a braguinha to Hawaii. Jessic...

Schoolhouse Rock: A Noun Is A Person, Place Or Thing

A Noun Is A Person, Place Or Thing, a 1973 Grammar Rock episode from Schoolhouse Rock. Related watching: Verb: That’s What’s Happening, Unpack Your Adjectives, and more Schoolhouse Rock.

Pants – Mysteries of Vernacular

Where does the word 'pants' come from? The journey of this word throughout history begins with the 4th Century Roman Saint Pantaleon and is now used to refer to any clothing with two separate tubes that are meant to c...

Sugar: Hiding in plain sight

We know that sugar is a big part of candy, ice cream, and sweet drinks, but did you know that added sugars are included in 3/4 of the 600,000+ products found in the average grocery store? And...

Water Calligraphy Device, Beijing

Imagine sky writing on the ground using water and a modified tricycle – this is Water Calligraphy Device by French Canadian media artist Nicholas Hanna. Inspired by the water and brush calligraphy of older artists ...

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