And the Merriam-Webster’s Word of the Year 2022 goes to ‘Gaslighting’

People suffering from long Covid took up the term “medical gaslighting” to describe the medical establishment’s inappropriate dismissal of their symptoms. The word can also be used to describe individuals across contexts, from romantic partners to politicians. The dictionary offers two definitions for the term. The first describes it as “psychological manipulation of a person usually… Read More

Black Friday 2022

The day’s name originated in Philadelphia, where it originally was used to describe the heavy and disruptive pedestrian and vehicle traffic which would occur on the day after Thanksgiving. Use of the term started before 1961 and began to see broader use outside Philadelphia around 1975. Later an alternative explanation was made: that retailers traditionally operated… Read More

Halloween 2022: a whopping U$10.6B spending! Sales, Stats, Trends, and even Costume Choices!

It’s Halloween time!  We’ve come a long way since the dark days of Fall 2020. In fact, this year will see the highest percentage of people celebrating Halloween since 2018, according to the National Retail Federation. Per-Person Halloween Spending Drops a Buck or Two This Year 2021 was historic for Halloween because it was the… Read More

Por que as crianças aprendem idiomas com mais facilidade do que os adultos?

O site das Nações Unidas*, por ocasião das comemorações do Dia Internacional da Língua Materna (International Mother Language Day) que acontece todos os anos no dia 21 de fevereiro, entrevistou a Dra. Eleonore Smalle, pesquisadora de pós-doutorado na Universidade de Ghent (Bélgica) e professora palestrante na Universidade de Tilburg (Holanda), sobre os mecanismos de cognição… Read More

Confusing words: Then and Than

THAN is used in comparative statements. ~ Another pair of words that I see misused far more often than not is than and then. ~ He is taller than I am. ~ Other than the interest on a small inheritance, he had no income. ~ Today’s students certainly do seem to read less than students in… Read More

O sotaque da Rainha Elizabeth II

O sotaque da rainha ELizabeth II era o “Received Pronunciation” (também conhecido como R.P., que é a pronúncia padrão da língua inglesa utilizada no Reino Unido. Estudantes estrangeiros de inglês britânico aprendem essa modalidade de inglês nas escolas. Dicionários de língua inglesa produzidos no Reino Unido e a mídia britânica também adotam a Received Pronunciation como… Read More

The science of charismatic voices

When a right-wing Italian politician named Umberto Bossi suffered a severe stroke in 2004, his speech became permanently impaired. Strangely, this change impacted Bossi’s perception among his party’s followers — from appearing authoritarian to benevolent. Now researchers at the University of California, Los Angeles think they know why. Probing the vocal presence of charisma across… Read More

What’s in laughter?

Human beings love to laugh, and the average adult laughs 17 times a day. Humans love to laugh so much that there are actually industries built around laughter. Jokes, sitcoms and comedians are all designed to get us laughing, because laughing feels good. For us it seems so natural, but the funny thing is that… Read More

Dogs align their bodies along a North-South axis when they poop, and that is amazing!

Ever wonder why dogs need to get themselves into just the right position to do their business? As it turns out, dogs align their body axis according to Earth’s magnetic field when they squat to poop—a behavior that changes when the magnetic field is unstable. But why do they do it? The results of the… Read More