Page 10 - Language Facts

The Pope's Latin Twitter account is more popular than his German and Polish ones!

Pope Benedict XVI decided to join twitter a short time ago with a myriad of handles that all shared the stem @Pontifex and a short code for the language at the end. For example, there's @Pontifex_es for Spanish and @Pontifex_fr for French. However, a surprisingly popular one is @Pontifex_Ln for Latin!

Pope Benedict didn't just pass the title and office to the new Pope Francis, but also his twitter accounts. The Latin one is amusing because, at more than 115,000 followers, it's got more followers than his Polish, German and Arabic accounts.

If you have trouble fitting your thoughts onto a tweet, you should consider picking up Latin. The language is very succinct and you can fit a lot more of your thoughts in a lot less characters!


Calling someone a Patriot was an insult during the American Revolution!

The referring to someone as a patriot, you are typically saying that the person is very passionate about their country and they support it. While that has always been the case, the word has in fact been used to insult someone during the American Revolution.

It's not people thought it was an insult to be loyal to one's country, but rather they were using the word ironically and a little sarcastically in the mid 18th century. In fact, people that were keeping definitions of words in England actually wrote in that the word patriot 'is sometimes used for a factious disturber of the government'!

For more on the word etymology, click the source! To see an example of the perfect American Patriot, take a look at the picture on this article!


There are now MLA guidelines to cite a tweet!

The Modern Language Association (MLA), or rather the bane of every high school student's existence, is an association that has designed official ways in which people can cite references on their essays without being charged with plagiarism. Fortunately, the MLA format is staying up to date with modern trends, because students are now able to cite a tweet properly. So, how do you do it?

Well, if you were writing an essay on an awesome website that gives you lots of cool facts, you would have to follow a few steps in order to cite it properly. Begin with the author's real name, as well as their username is paranthesis (the brackets that I'm using around this sentence). Next, provide the tweet in quotation marks, keeping it as originally posted. Conclude with the entry date and time of the publication and the medium of publication (Tweet).

Here's an example: OMG Facts, Celebs (OMGfactsCelebs). "A Chicago High School played Bieber’s “Baby” between classes and had students pay to stop it. The campaign raised $1,000 in 3 days." May 12, 2013, 11:30PM. Tweet.


Some awesome lists!

Seconds used to be called 'Second Minutes'

Seconds are passing constantly, and we never really pay attention to them unless we are timing something, waiting for something, or we happen to be looking directly at a clock. Like most things in the English language, referring to 1/60th of a minute is known as a 'second'. Although, few people are aware that referring to that particular unit of measurement as a 'second' is actually slang.

Let's rewind to the days of Middle English. In the middle ages, people called 1/60 of a minute 'second minutes' because it is the 'second' operation when dividing an hour by sixty. As time progressed, at some point people became extremely lazy and didn't want to say 'second minutes' so they just started saying 'seconds'!


A New Mexico tribe speaks a language eerily similar to Japanese!

The Zuni tribe have perplexed anthropologists with their language. They speak a language that is too similar to Japanese to be coincidental. Anthropologists can't figure out why this would be the case.

Some similar words as an example. Clan in Zuni is 'kwe,' in Japanese 'kwai.' The word for priest is 'shawani' in Japanese and 'shiwani' in Zuni. Both Zuni and Japanese use the verb as the last word of a sentence, a feature only 45% of languages share. This might not seem like much, but the Zuni language is very different in this than other languages around them.

This sparked some research and scientist discovered that both Zuni and the Japanese have similar frequency of Type B blood, a rare kind of kidney disease and very specific oral traditions about their origins. The working theory is that Buddhist missionaries somehow made it to California around the 12th century somehow.



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