Monday, January 10, 2011

True to Words' Top 10 Posts of 2010

Since my last post, we welcomed the New 2011 Year and True to Words turned two years old. What to write, what to write? Oh, I know! How about highlights of the most-visited blog posts from the past year? Of course, what else would I do! Here are my Top 10 Posts of 2010!

10. Ancient Language Deciphered By Computer

The cooperative effort of two universities across several disciplines has created a computer program that can decipher "lost" languages. This program could not only speed up the translation process of ancient documents, it also could help improve online translation software.

9. Laughter: The Most Primitive Language

Laughter is primal, social, universal and infectious. Laughter is so unique, that it should come as no surprise that the scientific analysis and research of laughter is a quite serious matter. And laughing rats are seriously, adorably cute, so don't forget to watch the video at the end.

8. International Mother Language Day Highlights Endangered Languages

Every 14 days, one of the world's estimated 7,000 spoken languages dies. February 21 is International Mother Language Day, which has been observed annually since February 2000. The day is meant promote linguistic and cultural diversity and multilingualism throughout the world.

7. The Simpsons Contributions to the English Language

London-based translation company Today Translations polled 320 of linguists across the world to try to find the “most valuable addition to the English language” from the world’s most popular animated TV series, "The Simpsons". Here's a hint: "D'oh!" - Homer’s trademark grunt of irritation or frustration - is the top contribution, but it certainly isn't the only one.

6. Review: Donny Dirk's Zombie Den in Minneapolis

For my birthday last year, some of my closest friends and I went out for dinner at Broadway Pizza and then to Donny Dirk's Zombie Den for drinks. A great bar in Minneapolis that offers a... unique... atmosphere. It is a Zombie Den, after all!

5. The Death of Boa Sr and the Bo Language

Last year in February, one of the oldest languages in the world died when Boa Sr, the oldest member of the Great Andamanese tribe, drew her last breath. The 85-year-old was the only known fluent speaker of 70,000-year-old Bo language. According to one count, there are about 470 languages throughout the world that are on their own version of an endangered species list.

4. Text-Slang Creeping Into Academic Work

Texting language is fine for messages to friends, but when it seeps into academic work, it leaves college professors both confused and aggravated. Some have even developed official policies about it written into their syllibi. "'wut up ya I cnt make it 2 clss lol' is insanely unprofessional," reads the syllabus of Alejo Enriquez, a Cal State East Bay instructor.

3. Dinner vs. Supper

Dinner and supper. The preference for "dinner" over "supper" is both regional and generational. What are the actual differences between the meanings of these words and how they're used? And which term do you prefer to use?

2. Floriography: The Language of Flowers

The language of flowers, or floriography, was a Victorian-era means of communication in which various flowers and floral arrangements were used to send messages in code. This allowed people to express feelings which otherwise could not be spoken during this particularly frigid period of history.

1. Friday Photography - Graffiti is Like Modern Day Cave Painting

Some of our most priceless works of art were painted on cave walls by ancient humans. In my opinion, some of our most overlooked creative works have been spray painted on the walls of buildings. And I have to say I am glad this post is in the top spot, because it is one of my absolute favorites.

There you have it! Check out the Top 10 Posts for True to Words' First Year while you're at it. Happy New Year!

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