With all our texting, tweeting and social media posting, billions of people are using typed words for the kind everyday communication that used to happen more often in conversation. A new book argues that we’ve created a unique new language to reproduce the shades of meaning that we used to convey verbally. Our linguist Geoff Nunberg reflects on the new rules of language that he calls chat-speak.
In 2017 alone, Merriam-Webster added more than 1,000 words to its dictionary. Noah Webster himself might have struggled to define these new English terms — such as binge-watch, humblebrag, photobomb, NSFW, truther, face-palm and listicle.
Alex the African gray parrot could do more than speak and understand he could also count, identify colors and develop an emotional relationship. When Alex died in September 2007, his last words to scientist Irene Pepperberg were "You be good. I love you."
During their 30 years together, psychology professor Irene Pepperberg and Alex, her African gray parrot, said "I love you" to each other nearly every day. Pepperberg writes about the extraordinary abilities of her pet in the memoir Alex & Me.
Although his brain was no bigger than a walnut, Alex the African gray parrot could do more than speak and understand — he could also count, identify colors and, according to his owner Irene Pepperberg, develop an emotional relationship.