A new website called the Historical Dictionary of Science Fiction is taking us back through the words that have made sci-fi what it is and showing how much this genre has shaped popular culture. Plus: meet a planet that's barely orbiting a brown dwarf, some 450 light years from earth, a spot in the actual universe that seems more like science fiction.
Today's the day in 1828 that Noah Webster went to the copyright office to register his work “An American Dictionary of the English Language.” This work, no pun intended, defined American English as people actually spoke it, but it also included some words that haven't exactly stayed with us. Plus: there are perhaps no words for the mulletty goodness that resulted when a woman in New Zealand tried to cut her hair with a kitchen knife.
Languages change over time; Merriam-Webster said it added over 500 new words to the dictionary last month. But you can also see those new additions over time through the Time Traveler feature on Merriam-Webster's website. Plus: a piece on Mental Floss explains how some of the most beloved Halloween candies got their names.