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Here's How Far You'd Have to Go Back For English to Stop Making Sense

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Language is evolving all the time. Describing something as naughty, awful, or terrific a couple centuries ago had very different connotations from what we now see today. And just as words (or non-words) are constantly popping up that would have meant nothing in the not-so-distant past, older parts of our language are also disappearing for good.

This video from the history-focused YouTube channel YesterVid explores how far back in time modern English-speakers would have to travel for their own language to become something they wouldn't recognize. Aside from not being able to understand some outdated slang terms, it wouldn't be too difficult to get by in the 18th and 19th centuries with the language skills we have now. The Great Vowel Shift took place during the 15th, 16th, and 17th centuries, so while you still would have been able to recognize a lot words of the time, understanding their pronunciation would have been half the battle. (You have this confusing period to thank for the different pronunciations of "ea" in words like "knead," "bread," and "great.")

Though conversing with fellow English speakers would have been a struggle prior to 1400, it's not until the turn of the first millennium that English might as well have been another language altogether. You can watch the full video above and subscribe to YesterVid for more history-filled content.

[h/t Gizmodo]

Header/banner images courtesy of YesterVid via YouTube.

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Opening Ceremony
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These $425 Jeans Can Turn Into Jorts
May 19, 2017
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Opening Ceremony

Modular clothing used to consist of something simple, like a reversible jacket. Today, it’s a $425 pair of detachable jeans.

Apparel retailer Opening Ceremony recently debuted a pair of “2 in 1 Y/Project” trousers that look fairly peculiar. The legs are held to the crotch by a pair of loops, creating a disjointed C-3PO effect. Undo the loops and you can now remove the legs entirely, leaving a pair of jean shorts in their wake. The result goes from this:

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Opening Ceremony

To this:

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Opening Ceremony

The company also offers a slightly different cut with button tabs in black for $460. If these aren’t audacious enough for you, the Y/Project line includes jumpsuits with removable legs and garter-equipped jeans.

[h/t Mashable]

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This First-Grade Math Problem Is Stumping the Internet
May 17, 2017
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If you’ve ever fantasized about how much easier life would be if you could go back to elementary school, this math problem may give you second thoughts. The question first appeared on a web forum, Mashable reports, and after recently resurfacing, it’s been perplexing adults across social media.

According to the original poster AlmondShell, the bonus question was given to primary one, or first grade students, in Singapore. It instructs readers to “study the number pattern” and “fill in the missing numbers.” The puzzle, which comprises five numbers and four empty circles waiting to be filled in, comes with no further explanation.

Some forum members commented with their best guesses, while others expressed disbelief that this was a question on a kid’s exam. Commenter karrotguy illustrates one possible answer: Instead of looking for complex math equations, they saw that the figure in the middle circle (three) equals the amount of double-digit numbers in the surrounding quadrants (18, 10, 12). They filled out the puzzle accordingly.

A similar problem can be found on the blog of math enthusiast G.R. Burgin. His solution, which uses simple algebra, gets a little more complicated.

The math tests given to 6- and 7-year-olds in other parts of the world aren’t much easier. If your brain isn’t too worn out after the last one, check out this maddening problem involving trains assigned to students in the UK.

[h/t Mashable]

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