If you’re like me, Thanksgiving is a time to gather around family and eat delicious food. However, as you grow older, the preparation for this holiday rests on your shoulders. You start to be responsible for a pie or two, then the stuffing and mashed potatoes, and then before you know it, you’re elbow deep in the turkey wondering how this became your job. Fear not! Lifehacker has tips on how to prepare for Thanksgiving ahead of time to avoid any disasters that might occur.
You’ve noticed it. It’s hard not to. They’re everywhere. The more you read, the more you see – the extra u’s. You may have seen them in words such as colour, humour or behaviour. The truth is this: a long time ago Benjamin Franklin and Noah Webster argued over spelling. Yes, yes, Noah Webster was the Webster of Webster’s Dictionary; however, he was the one that wanted to keep the extra u’s in words such as favour and honour! Benjamin Franklin was actually the one that proposed the u’s be dropped. Webster basically scoffed and said we must “speak our language with propriety and elegance as we have it”, or whatever. Franklin laughed, published his ideas, ordered a custom type font and continued to be brilliant.
Thankfully, by 1789, Webster saw the light and changed his mind about the new spellings and by the time he published his first dictionary in 1806, he had dropped the extra u’s altogether. I, for one, am glad Franklin was around to talk some sense into Webster. Or else I would labour over my endeavours rigourously without humour or flavour. And we wouldn’t want that. Be sure to check out the list of weirdly spelled British words on Daily Writing Tips!
A big vocabulary is like a full toolbox; you might not need every tool for every job, but every tool has a time and place. The way we pick up new vocabulary is a fascinating and complicated field, but measuring our vocabulary can be equally complicated. Researchers trying to learn more about this field have created testyourvocab.com. The test has you go through and choose the words you can define and then estimates your vocabulary at the end. A typical score for a native English speaker is between 20,000-35,000 words. Keep in mind, there is most probably a sample bias at work here, since the people most likely to test their vocabulary are the same people who would value a large one. Nonetheless, it’s an interesting experiment. You might be surprised by how much you know.
The f-bomb. That satisfying combination of syllables that can be a noun, verb, or most any part of a sentence or phrase. But who uses it the most? New Yorkers? Texans? Brits?
Now we can track the drops of the f-bomb (on twitter at least) with fbomb.co. Every time a tweet goes out containing those four controversial letters, the map on fbomb.co updates and drops a missile down on the location where it was tweeted. And if you’re prone to dropping a few bombs yourself, you might even catch your own tweets coming down and leaving a puff of smoke behind.