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Tech journalist since the dark ages. Windows Secrets, LangaList newsletter, Windows Magazine (NetGuide, Home PC), Byte, Popular Computing, yadda yadda yadda. Google me, if it matters.

This feed is mostly personal interest; it's NOT my professional writing. There's tech here, yes, but also lots of general science and some politics and weird humor thrown in.

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Huh? Linguists discover what may be a nearly universal word. (Really!)

Humble 'Huh?' Might Be Rare Universal Word

"The researchers found the word in widely different languages ranging from Icelandic to Mandarin Chinese to West African Siwu, reports the New York Times. And though it may sound a bit different in some tongues—more like "ah" or "eh"—it remains fundamentally the same."

Original study: "Is 'Huh?' a Universal Word? Conversational Infrastructure and the Convergent Evolution of Linguistic Items" http://www.plosone.org/article/info%3Adoi%2F10.1371%2Fjournal.pone.0078273

News coverage:
http://www.newser.com/story/177293/humble-huh-might-be-rare-universal-word.html

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/11/09/arts/that-syllable-everyone-recognizes.html?_r=0

http://www.latimes.com/science/la-sci-huh-20131109,0,4266398.story#axzz2k96jr1D7