443 Matching Annotations
  1. May 2018
    1. But the point is that the language of the young is not random or careless.


    2. Hardly. Language still has rules, and Buzzfeed’s writers, editors and readers care about them. It is simply that the rules are more variable, and changing faster, than many people realise.


    3. Words, phrases and new ways of playing with grammar are coming and going faster than ever before.


    4. It is difficult to prove that digital technologies are actually making people into worse writers. It is likely that the world is just seeing more unfiltered thoughts written down than at any other time in history. People are not writing worse so much as writing and publishing far more.


    1. We do something similar in English, too.

      concluding arguments

    2. The number of “words” for snow in Eskimo languages is a misnomer, a strange lost-in-translation sort of way of explaining that you can use “snow” and its variant terms in as many different sentences as you wish.

      point / summarizing comment

    3. In English, we’d call that supposed word’s meaning a sentence, even though the word itself looks like what we’d call a word when transliterated.


    4. For one, English has more than one word for snow—powder, flurry, pack, slush, hail, sleet, ice, black ice, and so on. And for another, the structure of the Eskimo-Aleut languages is more conducive to producing multiple “words” for snow.


    5. That old cliché is a lie. It’s long been discredited, or at least floated back down to earth.


    1. The very fact that we’ve said two words makes them two different things in our consciousness. We try to smush the two together, and we can, but it’s not going to be as real to us as if we had one word that meant mind and body.”


    2. We can run into trouble, however, when we try to swipe words from other cultures with very different conceptions of the world.


    3. it was an attempt to determine if various cultures break up the world in the same way. If that holds for colors, the assumption goes, it might hold for more complex things like emotions and experiences. If we all tend to break up the world in the same way, then we should be able to understand each other, no matter the language we speak.


    4. The analogy of color works well for describing how words divide the emotional spectrum. Just as we’ve taken a set of wavelengths and imposed color terms on them, words delineate where one feeling begins and another ends, although overlap is inevitable.


    5. but mostly we think in words for those images


    6. A similar experiment found the same results for inner speech, that is, words that participants thought to themselves.


    7. Studies have shown that talking to ourselves during a task helps complete it.

      argument (experimental)

    8. By this line of thinking, language sorts experiences into discrete packets of information that contain feelings and impressions. Once we’ve packaged an experience, we can communicate it to ourselves and others.

      point (again)

    9. Most linguists today agree that having a word for something alters our perception of it in some way.


    10. One of the things that [language] does is allow you to put that information about anything belonging to that category into memory and retrieve it easily, and therefore also talk about it to other people,


    11. Words, at their most basic, bridge our subconscious to the physical environment. 


    12. They allow us to communicate, of course, but to what extent do they help us think?


    1. But the third new like doesn’t do the jobs the others do: there is nothing hesitational or even polite about quotative like, much less especially forceful à la the reinforcing like. It is a thoroughly straightforward way of quoting a person, often followed by a verbatim mimicry complete with gestures.


    2. mimicking people’s utterances is talking similarly to, as in “like,” them.


    3. Then, the two likes I have mentioned must be distinguished from yet a third usage, the quotative like—as in “And she was like, ‘I didn’t even invite him.’ ”

      additional arguments (quotative like)

    4. Like LOL, like, entrenched in all kinds of sentences, used subconsciously, and difficult to parse the real meaning of without careful consideration, has all the hallmarks of a piece of grammar—specifically, in the pragmatic department, modal wing.

      concluding remarks

    5. The main point is that it is part of the linguistic system, not something merely littering it up.


    6. The like acknowledges—imagine even a little curtsey—the discomfort. It softens the blow—that is, eases—by swathing the statement in the garb of hypotheticality that the basic meaning of like lends.


    7. Then there is a second new like, which is closer to what people tend to think of all its new uses: it is indeed a hedge. However, that alone doesn’t do it justice: we miss that the hedge is just plain nice, something that has further implications for how we place this like in a linguistic sense.

      arguments (hedge like)

    8. there is also at the same time an acknowledgment of counterexpectation. The new like acknowledges unspoken objection while underlining one’s own point (the factuality). Like grandparents translates here as “There were, despite what you might think, actually grandparents.”

      point (again)

    9. that given the circumstances, you might think it strange that an entire family popped up in this space we expected to be empty for our use, but in fact, it really was a whole family. In that, we have, for one, factuality—“no, really, I mean a family.”


    10. two modal marker likes


    11. In that light, what has happened to like is that it has morphed into a modal marker—actually, one that functions as a protean indicator of the human mind at work in conversation.

      arguments (modal marker!)

    12. the only question, as always, is which one?


    13. but because even the language of people stranded in a cave where life never changed would be under constant transformation.

      point (again)

    14. The problem with the hesitation analysis is that this was a thoroughly confident speaker.


    15. The point is that like transformed from something occasional into something more regular.

      point / arguments?

    16. Ordinary people, too, have long been using like as an appendage to indicate similarity with a trace of hesitation. The “slow-like” kind of usage is a continuation of this, and Saul Bellow has thoroughly un- Beatnik characters in his novels of the 1950s use like in a way we would expect a decade or two later.


    17. Because we think of like as meaning “akin to” or “similar to,” kids decorating every sentence or two with it seems like overuse. After all, how often should a coherently minded person need to note that something is similar to something rather than just being that something? The new like, then, is associated with hesitation. It is common to label the newer generations as harboring a fear of venturing a definite statemen

      arguments(?) (the second usage of like as sentence decorator = the marker of hesitation)

    18. Again, the pathway from saint-like to saint- ly is not hard to perceive.


    19. First, let’s take like in just its traditional, accepted forms. Even in its dictionary definition, like is the product of stark changes in meaning that no one would ever guess.

      arguments (how like changed [drastically!] even in its traditional/authentic sense)

    20. It’s under this view of language—as something becoming rather than being, a film rather than a photo, in motion rather than at rest—that we should consider the way young people use (drum roll, please) like. So deeply reviled, so hard on the ears of so many, so new, and with such an air of the unfinished, of insecurity and even dimness, the new like is hard to, well, love. But it takes on a different aspect when you consider it within this context of language being ever-evolving.


    1. The team wants to follow up on these results by testing whether metallic hydrogen is stable and superconducting at normal temperatures and pressures.

      comments (self; negative): future task

    2. "It's also predicted to be the most powerful rocket propellant that man knows, So, if one could somehow scale it up and make large quantities of it, it could revolutionize rocketry," Silvera said.

      comments (self; positive): future perspectives [continued]

    3. If the metallic hydrogen maintains its properties even after the high pressure is removed, it's possible it could be used to make a room-temperature superconductor, Silvera said. This could be helpful in producing magnetic-levitating trains or MRI machines that do not require the material to be cooled to liquid helium temperatures.

      comments (self; positive): future perspectives

    4. As such, the team doesn't yet know whether, as theory suggests, the metallic hydrogen is stable even if the pressure is removed.

      comments?? (but descriptive; negative): future task

    5. Right now, scientists don't know much about the material's properties. The whole experimental setup is still sitting under high pressure in the lab, waiting for the next tests.

      comments?? (but descriptive; negative): future task

    6. As the pressure rose, the normally transparent hydrogen molecules morphed into an opaque color, and then finally became shiny. Follow-up tests confirmed that the material was, indeed metallic. The pressure needed to achieve this transition? 495 gigapascals (71.7 million pounds-per-square inch), or more than the pressure found in Earth's core.

      details (results)

    7. The whole system was cooled to the temperature of liquid helium, about minus 452 degrees Fahrenheit (minus 269 degrees Celsius), and then the diamond anvils squeezed the tiny sample of solid hydrogen.

      details (methodology+results)

    8. So, the team coated the diamond anvils with alumina, the same material found in sapphire, which prevented the diffusion.

      details (methodology)

    9. Instead, the scientists used a chemical process to etch away a very thin layer of the surface without gouging it.

      details (methodology)

    10. The team decided to create tiny anvils from synthetic diamonds, which can be produced without any of these internal inhomogeneities.

      details (but a bit background-like; methodology)

    11. "No one has ever encountered metallic hydrogen because it's never existed on Earth before," Isaac Silvera, a condensed matter physicist at Harvard University, told Live Science. "Probably the conditions in the universe are such that it has never existed in the universe."

      comments (self; positive)

    12. The problem was: What materials on Earth are strong enough to adequately squish hydrogen atoms?

      background (important!): the puzzle

    13. Scientists managed to create the elusive, electrically conductive hydrogen by squeezing it to incredibly high pressures between two ultrapure diamonds, the researchers reported in a new study.

      details (methodology [in a nutshell])

    14. Metallic hydrogen, a bizarre form of the element that conducts electricity even at low temperatures, has finally been made in the lab, 80 years after physicists predicted its existence.


    1. Dalladay-Simpson said he is undeterred, though, and plans to keep pushing — or crushing, as it happens. Theoretical predictions also suggest liquid metallic hydrogen might also be a room-temperature superconductor.

      comments (self; positive): future perspective

    2. Other techniques, besides the current setup, don't lend themselves as well to hydrogen. "Hydrogen is incredibly difficult to contain at such conditions as it is very light, so it can diffuse through materials, and very reactive, so can form compounds easily," Howie said.

      comments (self): clarification?

    3. To have been certain hydrogen took a metallic state (without a conductivity test), the team would have needed to reach even higher pressures, at least up to 400 to 450 gigapascals, the scientists said.

      comments (self; negative): future task [continued]

    4. The researchers said they aren't sure it's a metal because they couldn't test the conductivity, Dalladay-Simpson said. The gap between the diamond anvils is so small that electrodes to test conductivity wouldn't fit.

      comments (self; negative?): future task

    5. "This paper does not claim a metallic state, but claims that it is a precursor to the metallic state due to similarities between what we see experimentally and what is predicted theoretically for solid metallic hydrogen," said Howie,

      comments (other's?; positive?)

    6. To test the new form of hydrogen, the researchers fired a laser at it and observed the way the wavelength of the light changed. That told them about the new structure of the material.

      details (methodology+results)

    7. This happens because squeezing the hydrogen forces the individual atoms together. If you just chilled ordinary hydrogen, with the formula H2, eventually it would form an ice-like solid, with each atom would be bonded to one other but not as strongly to other pairs. "When we use pressure we force the molecules to interact," Dalladay-Simpson said. Pressure makes the atoms together with all of their neighbors, and the H2 bonds start to break.

      background (important!): how hydrogen comes into the new state

    8. Dalladay-Simpson said his team didn't make a metal, but they came close, and in the process found a new phase of hydrogen. Any material comes in different phases. Though solid, liquid and gas are the familiar phases, there are others that appear under extreme conditions.

      details? (contextualization?) or comments(?; self)

    9. This is the first time anyone has seen this form of the element at close to room temperature (about 300 degrees Kelvin, or about 80 degrees Fahrenheit), the scientists said.

      comments (self)

    10. In this case, when the pressure hit the 325-gigapascal mark, or 47 million psi, the hydrogen became a solid, with the atoms forming layers that alternated between orderly and jumbled arrangements.

      details (results)

    11. At the University of Edinburgh in Scotland, doctoral student Philip Dalladay-Simpson and his colleagues Ross Howie and Eugene Gregoryanz put a small amount of hydrogen between two diamond anvils, and dialed up the pressure to 384 gigapascals, or 55 million pounds per square inch (psi).

      details (methodology)

    12. By crushing Earth's lightest element with mind-boggling pressures, scientists have revealed an entirely new state of matter: phase V hydrogen.


    1. Before thinking about all the ways this summit could go wrong, the president’s critics owe it to him to try to consider the few ways it could go right.

      background (preface?)

    2. I hope I’m wrong. Talking to the North Koreans is certainly a far better idea than war. Trump and Kim could surprise us all and begin the process of removing nuclear weapons from North Korea. But it’s far too early to think about any calls to Oslo just yet.


    3. After the summit, Pyongyang will then dig in on further negotiations. When those talks fail, Kim will blame Trump, leaving the president bewildered and angry. Trump will go back to his insulting ways, which will pave the way for Kim to exit any preliminary agreements. The whole business will fall apart, and North Korea will look like the sure winner: the co-equal of a U.S. president who has been humbled in front of America’s allies and embarrassed in front of its enemies. The unveiling of a functional, nuclear-armed North Korean ICBM will follow.

      argument (continues)

    4. Given North Korea’s track record, here is what is more likely to happen. Kim and Trump will meet, and Kim’s regime will reap hours of footage of an American president shaking the hand of the "supreme leader" that will run forever in North Korea and go viral around the world. Kim will play the gracious host and agree to everything, knowing that this kind of flattery will trigger a torrent of praise from Trump and perhaps even elicit reckless talk about lifting sanctions. (The North Koreans will surely have done their homework on the president’s psyche, which is on display all day, every day, on social media.)


    5. There is no evidence that this move was given any kind of serious analysis by military or diplomatic advisers.


    6. Worse yet, the short run-up for a meeting in May — And why the hurry? — means that this will be a summit without an agenda and with no time to devise one, which always increases the chances of a diplomatic train wreck.


    7. Even so, a summit should be a reward for months, even years, of careful work and actual progress. Meetings at lower levels should progress to more senior principals, and then to the heads of state.


    8. This isn’t to say that direct meetings are not a good idea.

      argument (disclaimer)

    9. Such a meeting would legitimize not only Kim’s regime but also his methods. No matter how the White House spins it, the North Koreans will claim a huge victory in getting Trump to bend to their will.

      argument (specification)

    10. Most likely, however, is that the White House is about to walk right into a trap the North Koreans have been laying for American presidents since the 1990s. A one-on-one summit between a U.S. president and one of the world’s weirdest and most irresponsible leaders would be a huge reward for a regime that has long chided other rogues and dictators for their weakness in dealing with the United States. 

      claim (main point)

    11. The chances of this are roughly zero, but it’s not impossible. More likely is that this will all end in diplomatic disaster.

      claim (?)

    12. President Trump’s decision to participate in a summit with North Korean despot Kim Jong Un is a dangerous idea.


    1. There is much yet to be done, of course. The outcome of the upcoming Trump/Kim summit will determine whether this prospective peace is durable or a mirage. But if all goes well and peace is finally at hand, a Nobel Prize for Trump would be a proper and fitting tribute to his remarkable achievement.


    2. Trump, leading from the front rather than from behind, is demonstrating that the United States can remain “the one indispensable nation in world affairs” only if it behaves like it.


    3. The reputation of the Peace Prize took a blow then, but it can be redeemed by recognizing the achievements of Obama’s successor.


    4. But as the Romans said, si vis pacem, para bellum — if you want peace, prepare for war. A peace through strength strategy only works when the adversary knows you mean business. And Trump had a “bigger button.”


    5. Trump also made clear the potential consequences of not moving towards peace.


    6. Trump knows that the art of the deal is based on leverage.


    7. Trump indeed deserves much of the credit for the breakthrough in relations.


    8. Now, the historic summit between South Korean President Moon Jae-in and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un alone has the makings of a peace prize-worthy effort, because it effectively ended a war that had been frozen since the 1950s.

      argument (with the following backgrounds)

    9. The stunning moves towards peace on the Korean Peninsula have generated the Nobel buzz. Resolving the almost seven-decade division — one of the last major vestiges of the Cold War — would be an epochal international event. South Korea's former president Kim Dae Jung was awarded the peace prize in 2000 for simply beginning the process of détente with North Korea. 

      arguments (reasons and evidence)

    10. Now, if all goes well in U.S. negotiations with North Korea, Trump should be the odds-on favorite for an award he will have truly earned.


    1. To find out, the researchers examined each recruit’s genes.They also analyzed what microbes had been living in each person’s gut. (To do this, they sorted through the microbes that got excreted in each person’s poop.) And here, how someone responded to the two types of bread could be predicted by which microbes had been in that poop. Amounts of two particular bacteria were especially predictive. The researchers don’t yet know what these bacteria do that affects blood sugar levels.

      details (methodology & results) + future task

    2. In their new study, the Israeli researchers wanted to know what was causing people’s blood sugar to react differently to the bread. It could be that genes determine the response, like they do in mice. But earlier research had hinted that gut microbes might play a role. A combination of genes and microbes might even be responsible. 

      background (assumptions)

    3. The new data are part of a growing body of evidence that suggests advice about what’s healthiest to eat may depend on the individual.

      background (context)

    4. Eran Elinav, Eran Segal

      lead authors

    5. When responses for the whole group of people were averaged together, the researchers saw no difference between the types of bread. But when they examined each person individually, a difference did emerge. In some, blood sugar climbed more after eating white bread than after the whole wheat bread. That had been expected. After all, whole-grain products tend to have a lower glycemic index. But the surprise: In some recruits, the whole wheat bread caused their blood sugar to spike more.

      details (results)

    6. Many people think whole wheat bread is healthier than white because it has more fiber and vitamins.

      background [important!] (general assumption to be denied)

    7. During the bread-eating trial, people weren’t allowed to eat pasta, sweets or other high-carb foods. That was so that the researchers could be sure any changes were caused by the bread and not by other foods. During each phase of this trial, the researchers measured how the recruits’ bodies had responded to the bread. This included their blood sugar levels.

      details (methodology)

    8. To find out, the researchers asked 20 healthy people to eat white bread for one week. The bread was the regular kind people could buy at any grocery store. On a different week, each ate whole wheat sourdough bread. The sourdough bread came from a special bakery.

      details (methodology)

    9. In this study, the researchers were trying to understand if a food’s GI is really a good measure of how a food will affect a particular person's blood sugar.

      details (objective)

    10. The answer will depend on the microbes living in someone’s gut. That’s the finding of a new study.


    1. Right now, such drugs may be unrealistic, says Kirsten Tillisch. She’s a gastroenterologist at the University of California, Los Angeles. She was not involved in the new work. “It is just so tempting” to assume that results in mice will hold true in people, she notes. But history shows that “the translation from lab animal to human is hit-and-miss,” she adds. So it may be too early, she cautions, to expect seeing these findings translate into therapies for people.

      comments (other; negative): denial to the future perspective (as so hasty)

    2. Next, his team wants to see if consuming probiotics and prebiotics might help restore production of microRNAs to normal levels in animals where it currently appears upset. Probiotics are beneficial germs that have been shown to foster gut health. Prebiotics are nutrients that those good germs need to thrive. Clarke and his colleagues would like to see if using these dietary supplements might help ease anxiety. If so, that could lead to new mental-health drugs. 

      comments (self): future perspectives

    3. Alas, Clarke says, figuring out how microbes manipulate the mind from start to finish “is still a work in progress.”

      comments (self; negative): future task

    4. Researchers still aren’t sure how these bacteria in the brain dial microRNA production up or down. Maybe the microbes send signals along the vagus nerve. That’s a kind of information highway that between the gut and brain. Or perhaps bacteria churn out molecular by-products that start some sort of chemical chain reaction. This might provoke the immune system to produce chemicals that provoke the brain to produce more or less of certain microRNAs.

      comments (others; negative?): future task(s)

    5. “I was a little surprised by the findings — in a positive way,” says Peter Holzer. He suspects “not many people so far have thought about microRNAs in this context.” Holzer, who works in Austria at the Medical University of Graz, was not involved in the study. He does, however, conduct research on how the gut and brain interact. The new findings, he says, head scientists “into a new area in gut-brain research that hasn’t been pursued.”

      comments (other's; positive)

    6. Clarke’s group now suspects that gut bacteria affect their host’s anxiety levels by tampering with microRNAs in specific parts of its brain.

      comments (?: self)

    7. The team also examined the same two brain regions in rats whose gut bacteria had been destroyed by antibiotics. These are drugs designed to kill harmful bacteria. These rats either overproduced or underproduced some of the same microRNAs that were off-kilter in bacteria-free mice.

      details (methodology & results)

    8. Compared to the brains of normal mice, those with microbe-free guts had more of some types of microRNAs and fewer of others. Later, after the germ-free mice were exposed to microbes, their microRNA levels more closely matched those of normal mice.

      details (methodology & results)

    9. Clarke and his team studied two groups of mice. One group included normal mice, whose guts were teeming with bacteria. The other mice were bred in sterile (microbe-free) conditions. Their guts contained no germs. The researchers looked at two brain regions in both groups of mice. These areas are involved in controlling anxiety.

      details (methodology)

    10. His team’s new findings could help scientists develop new treatments for some mental health problems.

      details (implication)

    11. Gerard Clarke


    12. The molecules are called microRNAs. They help keep cells in working order by managing the production of proteins that the cells need to flourish.

      details (somewhat expository)

    13. Now research in mice suggests that gut germs may alter the supply of certain molecules to regions of the brain involved in controlling anxiety.


    1. Not everything about the AI poems were bad, says Dastidar. For example in this poem: The crow crooked on more beautiful and free, He journeyed off into the quarter sea. his radiant ribs girdled empty and very – least beautiful as dignified to see. He thought the use of “crooked” as a verb was interesting, and might be the sort of thing you teach beginners in a creative writing class.

      Comments (other's; positive)

    2. Lack of creativity aside, the neural network still managed to fool some people who thought the poetry was written by a human. Hopkins asked 70 people to guess who’d written a fragment of poetry – a computer or a living, breathing poet – you can try the test for yourself here. The most human poem, it turned out, was actually written by AI.

      Details (results?)

    3. Neverthless, the AI poet is pretty behind the times, says Dastidar. “The art form and the craft stopped thinking about these things seventy years ago,” he says. Modern poets deliberately choose when to follow or depart from formal constraints, but this AI is a slave to them.

      Comments (other's; negative)

    4. Although it might be short on ideas of its own, the AI poet did have plenty of examples to draw inspiration from. It was trained on over 7 million words of 20th-century English poetry, most of it from poetry books found online. This poetic education gave the neural network the ability to write lines of poetry one letter at a time. But rather than let the network freestyle, Hopkins added another element that encouraged it to write in particular styles or about certain themes. Tell the neural network to write about fire, for example, and it will keep checking to make sure some of the words in the line it is writing concern fire. If the result isn’t fiery enough, the neural network scraps that part of the poem and starts again in the hope of picking more appropriate words. Hopkins employed a similar mechanism to persuade the AI poet to write lines that rhymed or followed a particular rhythm. For example, Hopkins could make the AI write poetry in iambic pentameter – the poetic rhythm common in Shakespeare’s plays and sonnets.

      Details (methodology, mechanism)

    5. But flesh-and-blood poet Rishi Dastidar suspects that the AI is all surface and no subtext.

      Comments (other's: maybe possible, but different)

    6. The poetic bot is fully tunable, says Jack Hopkins, who developed the system while he was a researcher at the University of Cambridge. It can be programmed to write in a particular rhythm or pen poems on specific themes.

      Comments (self)

    7. A neural network trained on thousands of lines of poetry has tried its hand at penning its own rhymes that mimic certain forms of verse. Its best efforts even fool people into thinking they’re reading the words of a human poet, rather than the algorithmic output of a cold-hearted AI.

      Main content

    8. Can a machine incapable of experiencing emotion write poetry that stirs the soul?


    1. Descartes simply arbitrarily chose the letters to represent different things in his works as was convenient and it just so happened in his landmark work, La Géométrie, he decided the specific variable nomenclature, perhaps, on a whim.

      Theory 3 (arbitrary choice hypothesis)

    2. It has been speculated that the prominence of x being used more than y and z for unknowns in this work had to do with typesetting; one story goes that it was Descartes' printer who suggested x be the principle unknown in La Géométrie because it was the letter least used and so the one he had more letter blocks available to use.

      Theory 3 (type-setting hypothesis)

    3. at least as far as documented evidence that has survived to today goes, he seems to be the creator of the practice, as noted by the OED and the phenomenal work by Florian Cajori, A History of Mathematical Notations (1929). At the least, Descartes' helped popularize the practice.

      Theory 3 (by Descartes): agreed

    4. Moore theorizes, as many others before him have done, that when this was later translated into Latin, the chi (X) was replaced with the more common Latin x.

      Theory 1 (by Moore)

    5. people translating the works would not care about phonetics, but the meaning of the words. So whether they had a "sh" or not one would think would be irrelevant.

      Arguments (sound doesn't matter)

    6. The principle problem with Moore's explanation is that there is no direct documented evidence to support it.

      Arguments (no evidence)

    7. So who started this practice?

      Thesis (problem presentation)

    1. These rules tell us what language is like rather than what it should be like.


    2. By 'correct English', people usually mean Standard English. Most languages have a standard form; it's the form of the language used in government, education, and other formal contexts. But Standard English is just one dialect of English. What's important to realize is that there's no such thing as a 'sloppy' or 'lazy' dialect.


    3. The speech patterns of young people tend to grate on the ears of adults because they're unfamiliar.

      Points (changes tend to be feel bad because of its unfamiliarity)

    4. but it's just not true. The fact that language is always changing doesn't mean it's getting worse; it's just becoming different.


    5. Finally, the sounds of a language change over time, too.

      Points (change in sound, mainly about GVS)

    6. Word order also changes, though this process is much slower.

      Points (change in word order)

    7. We get new words from many different places.

      Points (about the way to create a new word)

    8. Another reason for change is that no two people have had exactly the same language experience.

      Answer 2

    9. First, it changes because the needs of its speakers change.

      Answer 1

    10. The change is so slow that from year to year we hardly notice it

      Points (change is generally unnoticed)

    11. This isn't a bad thing; if English hadn't changed since, say, 1950, we wouldn't have words to refer to modems, fax machines, or cable TV.

      Points (the change isn't a bad thing)

    12. Yes, and so is every other human language. Language is always changing, evolving, and adapting to the needs of its users.


    1. Plotkin hopes that linguists will find the notion of drift and his statistical tests to be useful, because they allow researchers to study the patterns and timing of change in a single language rather than having to compare languages. “We’re not saying that pure drift is the only thing happening,” he says, “but rather that drift is often involved, and we shouldn’t rule it out.”

      Comments (self): future perspectives

    2. But to other researchers, the role of randomness in language is intuitively obvious. “Every single speaker on Earth will have their own specific linguistic variants,” says Andreea Calude, a linguist at the University of Waikato in Hamilton, New Zealand. “This variation is sometimes driven by selection, but at other times, we like to choose our own options from the linguistic buffet available to us.”

      Comments (other's; negative): by Andreea Calude, saying that's obvious

    3. The paper is “extremely exciting,” says Erez Lieberman Aiden, a geneticist at Baylor College of Medicine and a computer scientist at Rice University, both in Houston, Texas, who has also applied quantitative methods to massive language data sets. “Any sophisticated model of evolutionary change needs to deal with the balance of selection and drift, and this one is sophisticated because it tries to dissect the principles that drive the change.”

      Comments (other's; positive): by Erez Lieberman Aiden

    4. They found that selection was the likely cause of how negative sentence structures changed over time (like how the Old English “Ic ne secge” became the Early Modern English “I say not”). But the two other changes were likely the results of random drift, they write today in a letter published in Nature. That’s because, rather than having an even rate of change, the frequencies of alternative forms changed in fits and starts—jagged fluctuations that were obvious in the data set. When it came to the verbs, they found that drift’s influence was stronger when the verb was less frequent. Only six past tense changes in their data set, such as “lighted” to “lit,” were deemed to have changed for purposeful reasons, such as being easier to learn and use.

      Details (results): 1 changed via selection, but the other 2 changed as a result of drift

    5. With another evolutionary biologist and two linguists from UPenn, he analyzed three databases of historical English together containing more than 400 million words and ranging from 1100 C.E. to the 21st century. The researchers used statistical methods from population genetics to analyze three well-known changes in the English language: how past-tense verbs in American English have taken the “-ed” ending, (as when “spilt” became “spilled”), how the word “do” became an auxiliary verb in Early Modern English (as in “Did you sing?”), and how negative sentences were made in Old to Early Modern English.

      Details (methodology)

    6. Now, a team of researchers is using the analogy of evolution to explain language change, arguing that key factors in biological evolution—like natural selection and genetic drift—have parallels in how languages change over time. And it turns out that the random changes, known as “drift” in biology, may have played an outsized role in the evolution of the English language.


    1. Because there’s so little bonobo DNA in the chimps, Hvilsom and her colleagues suggest that for chimps, the bonobo genes were disadvantageous. But Arnold thinks that once more analyses are done, the researchers will find that at least some of the acquired DNA was beneficial, just as certain genes for immunity and high-altitude survival, obtained from other human species, were for us. And Mallet wonders whether there was a ménage à trois of sorts between the ancestors of chimps, bonobos, and humans in the distant past. There are some suggestive similarities: Both chimps and bonobos have some very humanlike behaviors, the former engaging in warfare and the latter being known for their playfulness, he says, and there may be other shared traits as well. There could be other explanations for these shared traits, but, he adds, early in human evolution, "It's possible there was gene flow between all three species.” 

      Comments (mainly other's; very positive): by Arnold and Mallet [saying the bonobo genes in chimps would also be beneficial and it may go further to the matter of chimp-bonobo-human menage a trois]

    2. The chimp-bonobo results help "us to understand the nature of speciation," says A. Rus Hoelzel, an evolutionary biologist at Durham University in the United Kingdom. How two species form depends on whether the environment encourages their separation, whether the dividing populations are big enough to survive on their own, and other factors. “When those things change, the path to speciation may also change, or potentially even reverse."

      Comments (other's?; positive): the findings may lead to a broader problem of speciation

    3. These findings come on the heels of other genome analyses—such as between coyotes, dogs, and wolves—showing such gene flow between species. "The more we look at genomes, the more it seems to be found," Mallet says. "It's going to be pretty common," he predicts.

      Comments (continued; positive?): by Mallet

    4. Peter Grant

      non-involved researcher

    5. That chimps have a trace of bonobo DNA suggests getting together was a challenge for the two species. "Neither of them like swimming, so the Congo River is a major barrier,"

      Comments (self? other's?): by Mallet, whose identity is not presented in the article (strangely!)

    6. Using the same tests that uncovered hybridization among humans, she and her colleagues determined that 1% of the central chimpanzee’s genome is bonobo DNA. The genetic analysis indicates that this inbreeding happened during two time periods: 1.5 million years ago bonobo ancestors mixed with the ancestor of the eastern and central chimps. Then, just 200,000 years ago, central chimps got another boost of bonobo genes, the team reports today in Science. In contrast, the western chimp subspecies has no bonobo DNA, the researchers note, suggesting that only those chimps living close to the Congo River entertained bonobo consorts.

      Details (methodology[1st_sent]+results): using the technique also used in the study on humans, they found that chimps and bonobos interbred twice in the past

    7. She and her colleagues uncovered this liaison when they examined the complete genomes of 75 chimps and bonobos from 10 African countries.

      Details (methodology?)

    8. Michael Arnold

      non-involved researcher

    9. Now, it turns out one of our closest living relatives, chimpanzees, also dallied with another species. New research reveals that chimps mixed it up with bonobos at least twice during the 2 million years since these great apes started evolving their own identities.

      Abstract (the former? the latter? meaning the same)

    1. Hare is looking forward to where the new study leads. “Now the fun begins!” Hare says he expects that movies and eye-tracking will soon be expanded to test other species. Krupenye agrees. “The eye-tracking program and mechanism would just have to be shaped for faces of birds, cats, dogs, or other species” to work. Of course, that means that other scientists will also have to come up with some funky, species-specific soap operas to test them on.

      Comments (other's and self; positive): future perspective (promising)

    2. Krupenye says he and his colleagues have more work to do before they can definitively conclude that apes understand false beliefs. “We’ve shown that they can predict others’ behaviors, which is a sophisticated ability,” and one not previously demonstrated. He and his colleagues say they now need to devise a behavioral scenario where the apes put their knowledge to use.

      Comments (self; tasks): need to prove that apes can USE their knowledge

    3. But Laurie Santos, a cognitive psychologist at Yale University who has shown that rhesus macaques lack an understanding of false belief, thinks the “paper raises more questions than it provides answers,” especially because there have been “so many past results showing that chimpanzees and other primates lack this capacity.”

      Comments (other's; negative): by Santos

    4. “It’s a very surprising and novel finding,” says Victoria Southgate, a developmental psychologist at the University of London, who helped create the eye-tracking technique to test 2-year-old infants and was not involved in this research. “It’s an almost exact replication of the study we did, and the apes appear to pass. It suggests that the capacity to track others’ perspectives and beliefs is not unique to humans.”

      Comments (other's; positive): by Southgate

    5. Unlike previous false-belief tests for great apes, this one doesn’t involve food, which has the unintended consequence of also testing their self-control, Krupenye says. “In our test, they only have to remember something that just happened; they aren’t weighed down by other cognitive demands.” The eye-tracking method also avoids using language, an unavoidable element of many theories of mind tests, says Frans de Waal, a primatologist at Emory University in Atlanta who was not involved in the study, but who wrote an accompanying perspective in Science.

      Details (methodology [notes]): how different the current approach is

    6. To find out whether great apes think this, too, the scientists screened their movie to 14 chimpanzees, nine bonobos, and seven orangutans. Through an infrared eye-tracker, the researchers measured what the animals were watching throughout the film. When the man returned, 22 of the 30 animals looked directly at the boxes, with 17 staring at the first box, where Kong initially hid the rock. Their eye movements, the scientists say, show that these apes correctly guessed the man would open the box where he’d last seen the rock—even though the apes knew it was no longer there. The researchers got similar results from having 40 apes view another, slightly different, film.

      Details (methodology+results): using eye gaze as an indicator of their knowledge state --> many of the apes succeeded in inferring the other's mental state

    7. To get around this impasse, the scientists behind the new study turned to soap operas and high-tech eye-tracking technology. Like many of us, great apes love a good drama, says Christopher Krupenye, an evolutionary anthropologist also at Duke who co-led the study with Fumihiro Kano of Kyoto University in Japan. “When there’s confrontation between individuals, they’re curious about what will happen next,” he says, as evidenced by their widened eyes. So the scientists filmed a colleague dressed as a generic apelike figure, nicknamed King Kong, who steals a rock from a man, hides the rock in one of two boxes, and then scares the man away. While he’s gone, Kong hides the stone in the other box, but then changes his mind and carries it out of sight. What does the man do when he returns? Most of us would predict that he’ll search for the rock in the first box, where it was when he left the scene. 

      Details (methodology): using dramas for apes and eye-tracking technology

    8. For nearly 40 years, animal cognition researchers have had mixed results in showing that our close ape relatives—and animals such as monkeys, jays, and crows—understood that their fellows had minds, a talent thought to come in handy in complex societies, where figuring out another’s plans can help animals thrive.

      Background [important: previous studies]

    9. Brian Hare

      non-involved researcher

    10. But three species of great apes—chimpanzees, bonobos, and orangutans—also know when someone holds a false belief, according to a new study published today in Science. The groundbreaking study suggests that this skill likely can be traced back to the last common ancestor of great apes and humans, and may be found in other species.

      Abstract (main: the former sent)

    1. The risk of a clash with Russia is a decision that should not be taken lightly.


    2. The Prime Minister and her Tory Cabinet must not take a decision which is the ­responsibility of Parliament. Our country is not directly under attack. The military action she is considering is offensive, not defensive.


    1. Earlier cats may have been just as popular, Driscoll says, but moving them would have been harder. Those early cats, he says, would have been “dependent on somebody putting a bunch of kittens in a basket and walking across a desert with them.”

      Comments (other's)

    2. And Driscoll now suggests another reason why Egyptian cats got popular so fast: They may have lived along shipping and trade routes. That would have made hopping a boat to some new port easy, especially if they offered to work as mousers on the ship.

      Comments (other's)

    3. There’s not enough evidence to say that, counters Carlos Driscoll of the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, Md.

      Comments (other's: criticism)

    4. They may have more resembled the type of purring pet found in homes today, the researchers speculate.

      Comments (self)

    5. The speedy spread of the Egyptian cats’ DNA could mean that something made these animals especially attractive to people, Geigl and Grange say.

      Comments (self)

    6. Domesticated cats in Africa — including three cat mummies from Egypt — had yet another mitotype. It’s known as IV-C. Until about 2,800 years ago, that type was found mostly in Egypt. But then it began showing up in Europe and the Middle East. And between 1,600 and 700 years ago, it spread far and fast. By then, seven of nine of the ancient European cats the researchers tested now carried this Egyptian type of DNA. Among them was a 1,300- to 1,400-year-old cat from a Viking port far to the north, on the Baltic Sea.

      Details (with backgrounds: results)

    7. A 6,400-year-old Bulgarian cat and a 5,200-year-old Romanian cat had a different type of mitochondrial DNA. They both had mitotype IV-A*. That mitotype was previously seen only in domesticated cats from what is now Turkey.

      Details (with backgrounds: results)

    8. About 10,000 to 9,500 years ago, African wildcats (Felis silvestris lybica) may have tamed themselves. They would have hunted rodents and scavenged scraps from the homes of early farmers in the Middle East. People probably encouraged the cats to hang around as a way for these farmers to control mice, rats, snakes and other vermin. The arrangement would have been “mutually profitable for both sides,” explains Grange.

      Details (results/conclusion) [notice: "may have tamed ..."]

    9. Geigl, Grange and their colleagues collected mitochondrial DNA from 352 ancient cats and 28 modern wildcats. These felines spanned 9,000 years.

      Details (methodology)

    10. Now, new ways of studying ancient DNA are pointing to some answers.

      Details (methodology?)

    11. What was not clear was when domesticated cats began to spread around the world.

      Background (important!)

    12. Exactly where and when this happened to cats, though, has been a matter of great debate.

      Background (important!)

    13. Early farmers brought cats with them to Europe from the Middle East by 6,400 years ago. That’s the conclusion from looking at DNA from 352 ancient cats. A second wave of migration, perhaps by ship, appears to have occurred some 5,000 years later. That’s when Egyptian cats quickly colonized Europe and the Middle East.

      Details (results)

    14. Later, they spread — first by land, then by sea — to the rest of the world, researchers now report.


  2. Apr 2018
    1. India’s linguistic and tech community must start doing the same


    2. it is always recommended to make the work output available with open standards so that others can build solutions on the top of existing interventions


    3. When confronted with a problem of this magnitude, there are a few vital things that must be to done to preserve dying languages. Creation of audio-visual documentation of some of the most important socio-cultural aspects of the language such as storytelling, folk literature, oral culture and history is a start.


    4. Building these resources might not result in transforming the state of many endangered languages quickly but will certainly help in gradually bettering the way many people access knowledge in their language.


    5. In the age of AI and IoT, one can indeed build resources that will enable their languages to be more user friendly.


    6. There are plenty of things one can do to contribute towards documenting a language, depending on the skill-set.


    7. There is something that every single individual, who speaks a less-spoken language, or is in contact with a native speaker of an endangered/indigenous language, can do. Languages that are dying need digital activism to grow educational and accessibility tools. That can happen when more public and open repositories like dictionaries, pronunciation libraries, and audio-visual content is created.


    8. The lack of native language content and the lack of electronic accessibility tools therefore plays an important factor in stopping a large number of people from accessing information and contributing to the knowledge commons.


    9. largely lack accessibility tools. In fact, accessibility tools for most Indian languages are not affordable and are proprietary in nature.


    10. there is a drastic need to use digital tools to preserve and grow India’s endangered languages.


    1. The languages or dialects which were considered endangered, include 11 from Andaman and Nicobar Islands (Great Andamanese, Jarawa, Lamongse, Luro, Muot, Onge, Pu, Sanenyo, Sentilese, Shompen and Takahanyilang), seven from Manipur (Aimol, Aka, Koiren, Lamgang, Langrong, Purum and Tarao) and four from Himachal Pradesh (Baghati, Handuri, Pangvali and Sirmaudi). The other languages in the endangered category are Manda, Parji and Pengo (Odisha), Koraga and Kuruba (Karnataka), Gadaba and Naiki (Andhra Pradesh), Kota and Toda (Tamil Nadu), Mra and Na (Arunachal Pradesh), Tai Nora and Tai Rong (Assam), Bangani (Uttarakhand), Birhor (Jharkhand), Nihali (Maharashtra), Ruga (Meghalaya) and Toto (West Bengal).

      Details (examples)

    2. there are around 42 languages which are spoken by less than 10,000 people. These are considered endangered and may be heading towards extinction, a home ministry official said.


    3. More than 40 languages or dialects in India are considered to be endangered and is believed to be heading towards extinction as only a few thousand people speak them


    1. Tribalingual ‘is fast becoming a global network of culture and language enthusiasts who are passionate about preserving our world’s diversity.’ As the ‘first online learning platform for teaching rare and endangered languages,’ it treats all languages and cultures equally, irrespective of socio-political situation.


    2. When I founded Tribalingual, I wanted to have a minimum viable product to take to market and test my hypothesis that there were people out there actually interested in learning about unique languages and cultures,’ Gibbens tells Geographical. ‘Through my network I found people who were passionately committed to preserving and teaching their culture and language. Luckily for us, there were also many learners who share our excitement about culture and language.’


    3. A core belief at Tribalingual is that the only means of saving languages and cultures is by teaching them. Archiving alone risks reducing rare languages to ‘static objects,’ as they are denied the chance to thrive in practice.


    4. Tribalingual founder, Inky Gibbens, began her social mission to ‘save, preserve and support’ rare cultures and traditions after discovering the native language of her grandparents – Buryat, a dialect of Mongolia – was classified as ‘severely endangered’ by UNESCO and finding there was no means of learning it online.


    1. But these new languages do not compare to the linguistic heritage that is being lost.

      Point 2/ramark

    2. Yes.


    3. linguists are trying to learn as much about them as possible, so that even if the language disappears, all knowledge of the language won't disappear at the same time.

      Point 2