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Think Tank

Since the 1950’s, the term think tank has meant “a research institute.” But even earlier than that, going as far back as the 1880’s, think tank referred “a person’s mind.” Another slang term for one’s...

Boaty McBoatface

Britain’s new polar research ship is named RSS Sir David Attenborough, even though an online vote overwhelmingly chose the name Boaty McBoatface. Versions of this playful construction go back at least as far as a 1987 episode of the television...

Fisher Price Color Associations

People with synesthesia have long been known to associate sensations like sounds with others, like seeing certain colors. New research suggests that color associations with certain letters — at least for individuals born after 1967 — are largely...

Primed to Love Rhyme

An American who worked as an au pair in Italy found that children there didn’t seem to react so positively to fun sayings like, “No way, Jose” or “Ready, Freddie?” Yet some research suggests we’re primed to love...

Use of First-Person Singluar

Contrary to what you might think, new research by psychologist James Pennebaker suggests that people who use the pronoun I a lot actually tend to occupy the lower status in a conversation. In addition, Pennebaker and his associates found that people...

Jumped Up Bald-Headed

What do your pronouns say about your own psychological makeup? If you use the word I a lot, does it mean you’re a leader . . . or a follower? A surprising study suggests that people of lower status in a group tend to use I the most. Also, a...