Around the Web: Valley Girls, Huh, and McDonald’s New Name

  • Huh? These three letters make one of the only universally understood words in the world. Slate explores this in a video.
  • On Wednesday, Electric Literature hosted a Twitter contest for #LitWords, clever neologisms inspired by books, like Ohwellian meaning “resigned to dystopia.” Here are the winners.
  • The widely maligned Valley Girl uptalk may have originated in the Scots-Irish intonation patterns of Great Britain, not in Encino.
  • Why is the so difficult to define? Also, earlier this year an Australian restaurant owner tried to make a symbol for the, but so far, it hasn’t taken off.
  • In case you missed it, Michael Erard (who wrote a great book about hyperpolyglots) is launching a digital periodical about language.
  • The German language is quickly acquiring English words and giving them a German twist. Some call this Denglisch. But Denglisch isn’t the only language hybrid being discussed this week; there’s also Brazinglish.
  • In Australia, McDonald’s temporarily changed its named to Macca’s.
  • Are you working on your novel for NaNoWriMo? Here’s tip #10 from the publishing professionals at Galley Cat.


  1. lol -  January 20, 2015 - 12:53 pm


  2. emily -  December 15, 2013 - 1:29 pm

    I know I’ve said enough but, I just wanted to point out to Ray that Jarod is very fond of you.

  3. emily -  December 15, 2013 - 12:44 pm

    Sorry, if the last one was too long. Maybe I’m starting to write essays too.

  4. emily -  December 15, 2013 - 12:40 pm

    !!! I did not even read what Ray wrote!!! You guys write too much essays!!!


  5. emily -  December 15, 2013 - 12:29 pm

    sorry, those were supposed to be exclamation points.

  6. emily -  December 15, 2013 - 12:24 pm

    I agree with Ray too

  7. Jarod -  December 11, 2013 - 11:05 am

    I argree with Ray.

  8. Ray -  November 22, 2013 - 6:21 am

    You’re not really pronouncing “Huh” here; You’re saying “Hunh” or “Hungh” (ng is the n-like sound at the back of the tongue as in “thing” rather than “thin”)…

    Surprisingly, ‘Microsoft’ itself does not have the th-ligature ͞h (nor tn-ligature) though it comes close with the h-bar ℏ cut Planck constant; Nevertheless the Greeks had the theta θ,Θ…perhaps a θe-ligature would do for the word “The…” It’d be super-easy to write as a loop-to-loop ϑe… The letter H is often scripted loopily this way—and in old Hebrew the H’ meant definite ‘The’.

    And the original letter thorn þ,Ϸ was an obvious looklike predating the Internet ASCII-moe totem-bar (:-þ) (;-Ϸ) …

    I wouldn’t call it, Denglish—the German equivalent of Franglaise/Frenglish,—but Deunglisch (cf ‘Deunglitch’)…

  9. Psyquis52 -  November 21, 2013 - 11:24 am

    Based on my forays there are quite a few words that are universal…and at least one or two tones to put them in. My point being that, for the most part, it appears this world doesn’t like me very much.

  10. spshlk -  November 20, 2013 - 2:53 pm

    Second thought that comes to mind immediately is OK. Everyone knows that one. Also bye bye is frequently used. I think this is a misguided topic, based on my forays around the world.

  11. wolf tamer and tree puncher -  November 19, 2013 - 6:25 am

    I know this is dumb but 1st comment!

    Ow is also universally understood. And maybe yoo-hoo, although I’m not sure about that one.

    I’m writing 2 novels at the moment. 1 is about a young girl who is captured by a tyrant king to fight in his army, but escapes and joins the rebellion to overthrow him. The 2nd is about a teenage girl who can speak to wolves and dogs; a pack of winged wolves desperately needs her help to destroy the deadliest enemy of all living creatures. I’m also currently working on a series about wolves (ordinary, not winged) where a young wolf named Pine Needles must forge his own destiny with a host of other wolves, including his fiery brother Fir Branch and his beloved mate Red Pebble. And as if that’s not enough, I’m planning to write Warriors fan fiction – the Warrior cats face the darkest threat the forest has ever seen, a power beyond even StarClan! As you can see, I love to write.

    • un-named madness -  January 20, 2015 - 12:51 pm

      no, from the few things you said you was writing right now, i didnt think you enjoyed writing


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