Facebook algorithm will learn new slang before you do

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Wonder how Facebook users will react to this new software.
Wonder how Facebook users will react to this new software.
Photo: Leander Kahney/Cult of Mac

Spend some time around any teenager and you’ll probably hear some new slang that you don’t understand. If you do get it, and you’re not a teenager or young adult yourself, chances are it’s already gone the way of the dodo in the minds and twisted hearts of said youngsters.

Facebook is hoping to combat this with a new software patent that would detect and gather new lingo as it appears on the social network, making it available to everyone.

As if we needed one more reason to feel old.

Hate new words like ‘adorbs’ all you want, but language is always changing

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If you’re freaking out about the new words added to OxfordDictionaries.com — like “adorbs,” “listicle,” “hate-watch” and “acquihire” — you’re not alone.

Most folks learn their vocabularies while growing up. Adding new words or changing the meaning of existing ones can be confusing to the human mind. Many of us pass judgment on these new words, upset about how technology is “dumbing down” the language.

This type of linguistic change — and the inevitable backlash to it — is nothing new, says Roy Mitchell, assistant professor of anthropology at University of Alaska Anchorage. “All living languages are always changing,” he told Cult of Mac over the phone. “Even some dead ones change,” he added, noting that Neo-Latin is simply the addition of Greek roots to a long-dead Roman lexicon.

You don’t have to like it. You just have to accept that it’s happening. And that there’s nothing you can do about it.

Rosetta Stone’s Free Navigator iPhone Apps Put Pronunciation Lessons in Your Pocket [Daily Freebie]

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Most Mac users will experience one of three reactions after reading the word “Rosetta.”

The first involves breaking into a cold sweat, and possibly hives, after remembering that Apple no longer supports the translator that ran all those old, useful apps written for PowerPC-based Macs after Apple switched over to Intel chips.

Option two, imagining the Rosetta Stone itself, the magical key to unlocking ancient script, stumbled upon by Napoleon’s troops

Or there’s an association with foreign phrases, mall carts and almost certainly the most recognizable name in language software, Rosetta Stone.

We’re focusing on that last one here, and about how Rosetta Stone has finally brought their language software, in the form of the Navigator series apps, to the iPhone — for free.