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When Does A New Decade Begin? (via Mental Floss)

It probably won’t surprise anyone who knows me to find out I lean heavily on the ‘decades/centuries begin on the year that has a 1, not a 0’ side of the contention about when these things actually start.
This article from Mental Floss has placated me a bit with its observation that it’s not really about math, it’s about how use the dates to group things.
Now if everyone can officially agree that the first decade has nine years, and the first century has ninety-nine years I’m happy.
And even if everyone can’t I think I can live with it.
I think.

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Finding The Best Place To Park

I’m not sure that the authors of these strategies about finding the best place to park your car at the shopping centre ever experienced anything like the carparks at our local Coles and Woolworths Supermarkets.
This video is another attempt to demonstrate that maths has uses in everyday life.

Read more at Mental Floss.

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When To Use Whom Or Who (via Mental Floss)

For those who are still communicating with words rather than emojis or memes, this Mental Floss article borrows from Lifehacker and provides some tips regarding the use of the subjective ‘who’ or the objective ‘whom’ in sentences.
The article starts out by observing that the words are not interchangeable:

In casual messages with friends or water cooler conversations with colleagues, it might not seem particularly important to use perfect grammar—and saying whom can sometimes make an exchange seem formal in a way that doesn’t match the situation.
In short, mentally swap out the who or whom in your sentence with he or him. If he sounds right, you should use who. If him is the obvious winner, go with whom.

Read the helpful memory prompts here.

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How To Pluralize And/Or Add Possessive Case To Last Names (via Mental Floss)

This Mental Floss article links to an article on Slate about how to pluralise surnames, and then refers to some other posts that deal with how to add apostrophes in order to indicate possessive case for surnames.
Plural and possessive, they’ve got that covered too.
Just in time for the end of year and Christmas seasons.

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Twenty-Five Words Being Added To Merriam-Webster’s Dictionary In 2018

For a change this list of words being added to Merriam-Webster’s online dictionary in 2018 not only contains words I know, but even a few that I’m surprised aren’t already there.

Some abbreviations: guac, fave.
Some tech words: force quit, predictive.
Some geek words: adorbs, TL;DR.

And more.

Read the list at Mental Floss.

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Fifty Collective Nouns For Groups Of Animals (via Mental Floss)

It’s always fun to keep up with collective nouns for groups of different animals.
This article from Mental Floss has some I’d not heard of.
A walk of snails (or an escargatoire)
A coterie of prairie dogs.
A bale of turtles.
A wisdom of wombats.
Among others.
Some sound made up, but the ones I did know were legitimate, so I guess they’re all good.
Check out how many you knew.

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Does The ‘Close Door Button’ In An Elevator Do Anything? (via Mental Floss)

Articles about why ‘Close Door’ buttons on elevators don’t work, and the reasons why pop up from time to time.
The practicalities behind their non-function make sense, but their presence in elevators even when not connected is still a bit odd.

Read about it at Mental Floss, or search around the internet for plenty of comparable pieces.