If you’re reading this, chances are you’re familiar with emoji and have used them in an 📧, or text. How did this visual ‘language’ come about and how will it impact communication in the future? Tara Bautista explores the history and 🔬 of emojis. Smiley faces “How r u?” “I’m OK.” How many of you have received a reply like this and wondered what OK meant? It could mean anything from “Life’s all good” to […]
We all speak with an accent, and we judge each other by our accents. Our accents can change gradually, or sometimes dramatically. But if you want to speak an additional language without any foreign accent, you may be facing an uphill battle. Accent, accents everywhere Everyone has an accent. And I’m not just talking about humans. The clicking sounds sperm whales use to communicate with each other vary by region, and Japanese Macaques have local […]
Seems likely you suffer from the same problem I do: there’s so much good stuff to read and not enough time to read even a fraction of it. But what if we could all learn to read at double or triple our current speed? Sounds appealing but research suggests books about speed reading may belong on the fiction shelves.
Is it a bird? Or a plane? No, it’s a baby. When we think of babies, it’s easy to focus on all the things they can’t do – walk, talk, look after themselves, or think like we do. But there are also plenty of things babies can do that we can’t. And few of us are aware of the ‘superpowers’ we’ve lost. Seeing is believing Are you good at remembering faces? Most of us do a decent […]
We’ve all heard learning a second (or third) language is good for you. And research has shown bilingual brains are different to the brains of people who speak only a single language. But what exactly are the advantages of being bilingual?
The other day my seven-year-old told me a blatant lie. He wasn’t trying to hide the lie but instead immediately asked ‘did you notice the twinkle in my eye?’ Somewhere along the way he’d heard that twinkling eyes are a good indication of lying and he wanted to test me out. We’re all aware of certain gestures that are meant to clearly give away dishonesty. But it turns out although we may hear dozens of […]
Most young kids do it. Michael Jordan was famous for it. And it’s quite possible you do it too. What am I talking about? Sticking your tongue out when you concentrate. It’s incredibly common and over the years there have been a variety of theories attempting to explain the habit. Recent research supports the suggestion it’s connected to the way humans evolved spoken language. A quirky tongue? Next time you have the opportunity, watch a […]
Bees have long been famous for their “waggle dance”, a series of moves telling other bees where good food can be found. But do you know just how intricate this dance is? It turns out bees have a complex language and we know how to eavesdrop onto their conversations.
Why call a valued assistant a ‘right-hand man’? Why does an awkward dancer have ‘two left feet’? And why, in times gone by, were left-handers thought to be possessed by the devil? Throughout the ages left-handers have been stigmatised and persecuted. But it turns out ‘handedness’ is determined before you even leave the womb.