Posts Tagged ‘words’


March 9, 2014

What is huh? in German? Huh? French? Huh? English? Huh? Spanish? Huh? And, in at least six other languages, including Chinese.  I learned that in an article by Arika Okrent in the Smithsonian magazine.  

I looked it up in Merriam-Webster and, indeed, it is a word, an interjection meaning a whole  bunch of things.  It’s all in the way you say it.  Depending on your intonation, it can mean that you’re asking if someone agrees with you, and that you misunderstood or didn’t hear what another person says, or you can use it to show surprise, disbelief, or disapproval.

You can thank Mark Dingemanse and the Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics, in Nijmegan, the Netherlands for bringing that to the world’s attention. Huh? is the first “universal word” studied by modern linguist.

Remember, you read it here.

I’m Working on a Biggie

February 26, 2014

There is a reason I didn’t make my semi-deadline Monday.  It’s a semi-deadline because, when I  made the semi-promise, I inserted a loophole. I said I would TRY  to have one by each Monday.  I’m working on an in-depth “biggie” for you.  The first installment will be posted soon. I know you’ll be waiting with bated breath.  No, it isn’t spelled “baited.” We’re not talking about fishing, but about being almost breathless with anticipation.  If you already knew that, I apologize for insulting your intelligence.  If you didn’t, you had the pleasure of learning something new, and I’m happy for you.