Culture

Is it ME or I? When was “Earthquake” Invented?

Curated by CLAI

ME V. I: Is it “you and me” or “you and I”? Even the best of us get confused. Take the quiz!

  • Kim, her sister and (me/I) went shopping on Black Friday.
  • Here’s a picture of my son and (me/I) at the museum.
  • Between you and (me/I), I think he’s crazy.
  • Julie, Lisa, Michele and (me/I) are meeting up at the ballpark.
  • The lawyer told my husband and (me/I) that while we would win the case if we filed, the return wouldn’t be worth it.
English by the Book (Alexander Stegmaier, John Tomanio)

English by the Book (Alexander Stegmaier, John Tomanio)

HISTORY OF NEW ENGLISH WORDS: When did our favorite words crop up in English?

  • 14th c: university, earthquake
  • 15th c: dictionary, globe, lovesick
  • 16th c: mathematics, dictatorship, potato
  • 17th c: Americanize, hotel, womanizer, ice cream
  • 18th c: homesick, roommate, terrorism
  • 19th c: cello, bicycle, mascara, mom, photograph, rubber band, subway
  • 20th c: clone, database, inbox, neurobiology, recycle, supernova, techno, vegan

Save on 2015 Travel and French Kiss Up to 5 Times

Curated by CLAI

8 WAYS TO SAVE ON TRAVEL IN 2015: The Russian ruble is tanking (as of late December, a dollar will get you 94% more than it did a year ago). Here are some other countries where you would get at least 13% more cash for your cash if you arrived there right now: Argentina (31%), Chile (16%), Mongolia (15%), Israel (13%) and — yes — Sweden (16%) and Norway (21%).

It was also a bad year for the euro, which means right now is a good time to go to Europe: You would receive about 10% more for your dollar in countries from Portugal to Slovakia.

French Kisses: When You Greet a Friend, How Many Times Do You Kiss? (Bill Rankin, radicalcartography.net)

French Kisses: When You Greet a Friend, How Many Times Do You Kiss? (Bill Rankin, radicalcartography.net)

FRENCH KISS: Most French two or four kisses, with three kisses popular in the South. 18% of Corsica go for five kisses!

Wealfies & Fake Brand Names

Curated by CLAI

WEALFIES: Wealfies are selfies taken in a luxury context that confirm one has money, status and social currency. The paradigmatic wealfie is the image you take of yourself getting on or off a private jet, possibly on your way to New Year’s Eve in Morocco or Anguilla.

But to the extent that people so closely identify with the things that they buy and receive, the picture shot of the Hermès or Chanel or Prada gift “unboxed” and then posted on Instagram is another kind of wealfie. Of course, there are so many ways to broadcast status these days.

Read more: The Season of the Wealfie (NYTIMES)

Chrisdien Deny

Chrisdien Deny (Gilles Sabrie, NYTIMES)

FANCY BRANDS WITH FANCY GIBBERISH NAMES: Eager to glaze their products with the sheen of international sophistication, many homegrown retail brands have hit upon a similar formula: Choose a non-Chinese name that gives the impression of being foreign. Some Chinese appear loath to spend their disposable income on locally produced fashions.

  • Chrisdien Deny, a retail chain with more than 500 locations across China, sells belts, shoes and clothing with an “Italian style” — and a logo with the same font as Christian Dior’s.
  • Helen Keller, named for the deaf-blind American humanitarian, offers trendy sunglasses and classic spectacles at over 80 stores, with the motto “you see the world, the world sees you.”
  • Frognie Zila, a clothing brand sold in 120 stores in China, boasts that its “international” selection is “one of the first choices of successful politicians and businessmen” and features pictures on its website of the Leaning Tower of Pisa and Venetian canals.
  • Other apparel brands include Wanko, Hotwind, Scat, Orgee and Marisfrolg (the L is silent)and Biemlfdlkk.

Read more: Adidos and Hotwind? In China, Brands Adopt Names to Project Foreign Flair (NYTIMES)

Why a 40-hour Work Week? Are You Blue AND White Collar?

Curated by CLAI

FORTY-HOUR WORK WEEK: Western economies, particularly that of the United States, have been built in a very calculated manner on gratification, addiction, and unnecessary spending. We spend to cheer ourselves up, to reward ourselves, to celebrate, to fix problems, to elevate our status, and to alleviate boredom.

  • Can you imagine what would happen if all of America stopped buying so much unnecessary fluff that doesn’t add a lot of lasting value to our lives?
  • The economy would collapse and never recover.

Read More: Your Lifestyle Has Already Been Designed (True Activist)

David Cain (Raptitude)

Forty-hour work week. (David Cain, (Raptitude)

WHITE V. BLUE COLLAR: My perhaps naïve hope is that when I tell students I’m not only an academic, but a “survival” jobholder, I’ll make a dent in the artificial, inaccurate division society places between blue-collar work and “intelligent” work. We expect our teachers to teach us, not our servers, although in the current economy, these might be the same people.

Read More: Your Waitress is Your Professor (NYTIMES)

Professor or Waitress? (Roman Muradov, NYTIMES)

Professor or Waitress? (Roman Muradov, NYTIMES)

Dude – Close Your Legs. Speak Spanish Fluently – Even When You Don’t

Curated by CLAI

MANSPREADING ON THE SUBWAY: The targets of the MTA campaign, those men who spread their legs wide, into a sort of V-shaped slouch, effectively occupying two, sometimes even three, seats are not hard to find. Whether they will heed the new ads is another question.

Now passengers who consider such inelegant male posture as infringing on their sensibilities — not to mention their share of subway space — have a new ally: the Metropolitan Transportation Authority.

Read More: A Scourge is Spreading: MTA’s Cure, “Dude, Close Your Legs” (NYTIMES)

Metropolitan Transportation Authority manspreading ad. (Metropolitan Transportation Authority)

INSTANT TRANSLATOR: Skype is launching a translator that provides automated, nearly simultaneous translation between Spanish and English during video calls. Basically, you just have your conversation as normal and the program will convert your words between languages automatically. You also get a written transcript of your conversation as you go.

To show off the tool, Skype set up a game between two elementary school classes: one in Tacoma, Wash. and one in Mexico City. The two groups had to figure out, Twenty Questions-style, where the other classroom of kids lived.

Read More: Skype’s New Tool Will Let You Translate Your Video Call Almost in Real Time (WAPO). And check out the YoutTube video below!

Skype Translator preview opens the classroom to the world (Skype)