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15 Gifts For Punctuation Nerds & Language Lovers

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One ampersand item in your apartment is charming; two is a trend. We already had a medium-sized tin ampersand from the Brooklyn Fort Greene Flea Market, so when I brought home the amazing, over-sized, light-up one above, I started saying our apartment was ampersand-themed—and my boyfriend started saying we probably have enough ampersands. Since you can never have enough ampersands—or other tangible expressions of your love of language—I decided to seek out a few more great gifts for logophiles and grammar nerds.

1. Typography Pint Glasses, $42

For when you're feeling excited, inclusive, inquisitive, or additional—and also thirsty.

2. Cheese & Crackers Serving Board, $48

I'm confident I could sneak one more ampersand into the house if it came full of cheesy goodness.

3. Three Scrabble Letter Pillow Cases, $55

You can buy any number of cases giving you the option to spell out any word you can think of.

4. "Symbol" Coaster Set, $42

The aesthetically awesome ampersand makes another appearance! Along with some more internet-prevalent punctuation marks.

5. Tabisso Typographia Lamps and Chairs

I know that if I have to ask how much these high-fashion items from the French furniture designer are, I probably can't afford them. But for a statement piece that literally says something, I'm not sure they can be beat.

6. Wood Punctuation Bookend Set, $24.99

Is it too much to say that you can support your literary collection with the physical embodiment of the symbols that give language structure?

7. Dictionary iPhone 5 Wallet, $85

I'm sure there's a dictionary app you can get, too.

8. Lorem Ipsum Necklace, $22

Fab

There are plenty of necklaces out there featuring words like "love" and "hope," but this might be the only one dedicated to dummy text. The nonsensical Latin phrase is a common placeholder for magazine copy, making it a great gift for your favorite editor.

9. Tattly Air Quotes, $5

Typographic tattoos are all the rage, but before you commit to getting inked, take your favorite punctuation mark for a test drive with these temporary tattoos.

10. Bad Grammar Mug, $12.50

Grammar elitism is significantly more charming if it's punny.

11. A Diagrammatical Dissertation on Opening Lines of Notable Novels, $29

Pop Chart Lab

This is not our first time featuring this Pop Chart Lab print, but it's a great way to display your love for even the finer parts of grammatical accuracy.

12. Vintage Typewriter Interrobang Cufflinks, $80

Guys don't get a lot of options when it comes to accessorizing, with cufflinks leading the slim pickings in terms of classiness. The vintage typewriter interrobang keys add a touch of whimsy to the stuffy suit staple.

13. Gourmet Grammarian Plate Set, $50

These plates take your love of correct grammar seriously, featuring no-nonsense explanations of some of English's most frequently misused bits of language.

14. Ampersand Rose Gold Bracelet, $33

In case anyone reading this is also in the market for a gift for me.

15. Antique Question Mark Ring, $2650

For the lady in your life who really, really loves punctuation marks. And whom you really, really love.

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FRED TANNEAU/AFP/Getty Images
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Animals
Fisherman Catches Rare Blue Lobster, Donates It to Science
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FRED TANNEAU/AFP/Getty Images

Live lobsters caught off the New England coast are typically brown, olive-green, or gray—which is why one New Hampshire fisherman was stunned when he snagged a blue one in mid-July.

As The Independent reports, Greg Ward, from Rye, New Hampshire, discovered the unusual lobster while examining his catch near the New Hampshire-Maine border. Ward initially thought the pale crustacean was an albino lobster, which some experts estimate to be a one-in-100-million discovery. However, a closer inspection revealed that the lobster's hard shell was blue and cream.

"This one was not all the way white and not all the way blue," Ward told The Portsmouth Herald. "I've never seen anything like it."

While not as rare as an albino lobster, blue lobsters are still a famously elusive catch: It's said that the odds of their occurrence are an estimated one in two million, although nobody knows the exact numbers.

Instead of eating the blue lobster, Ward decided to donate it to the Seacoast Science Center in Rye. There, it will be studied and displayed in a lobster tank with other unusually colored critters, including a second blue lobster, a bright orange lobster, and a calico-spotted lobster.

[h/t The Telegraph]

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Courtesy Murdoch University
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Animals
Australian Scientists Discover First New Species of Sunfish in 125 Years
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Courtesy Murdoch University

Scientists have pinpointed a whole new species of the largest bony fish in the world, the massive sunfish, as we learned from Smithsonian magazine. It's the first new species of sunfish proposed in more than 125 years.

As the researchers report in the Zoological Journal of the Linnean Society, the genetic differences between the newly named hoodwinker sunfish (Mola tecta) and its other sunfish brethren was confirmed by data on 27 different samples of the species collected over the course of three years. Since sunfish are so massive—the biggest can weigh as much as 5000 pounds—they pose a challenge to preserve and store, even for museums with large research collections. Lead author Marianne Nyegaard of Murdoch University in Australia traveled thousands of miles to find and collected genetic data on sunfish stranded on beaches. At one point, she was asked if she would be bringing her own crane to collect one.

Nyegaard also went back through scientific literature dating back to the 1500s, sorting through descriptions of sea monsters and mermen to see if any of the documentation sounded like observations of the hoodwinker. "We retraced the steps of early naturalists and taxonomists to understand how such a large fish could have evaded discovery all this time," she said in a press statement. "Overall, we felt science had been repeatedly tricked by this cheeky species, which is why we named it the 'hoodwinker.'"

Japanese researchers first detected genetic differences between previously known sunfish and a new, unknown species 10 years ago, and this confirms the existence of a whole different type from species like the Mola mola or Mola ramsayi.

Mola tecta looks a little different from other sunfish, with a more slender body. As it grows, it doesn't develop the protruding snout or bumps that other sunfish exhibit. Similarly to the others, though, it can reach a length of 8 feet or more. 

Based on the stomach contents of some of the specimens studied, the hoodwinker likely feeds on salps, a jellyfish-like creature that it probably chomps on (yes, sunfish have teeth) during deep dives. The species has been found near New Zealand, Australia, South Africa, and southern Chile.

[h/t Smithsonian]

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