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You've Probably Seen An Emergency Alert On Your Phone. But Did You Notice How It Was Worded?

Here’s what happens when alerts like Hawaii's false alarm reach communities already in crisis.

[new_image position="standard large" id="null"]Warnings about Joaquin were not written in the plainest language. Image via Lisa Eastcoast/Twitter.[/new_image]

Back in October 2015, New Yorkers with smartphones were jolted by a collective ping, accompanied by a text message from the National Weather Service warning that the high winds of Hurricane Joaquin were imminent. Though Joaquin eventually veered off to Bermuda as a tropical storm, high surf and historic levels of tidal flooding devastated the Carolinas. And many of the alerts were written in complicated sentences using advanced vocabulary.

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Teaching Your Kid to Read? Let Her Play Minecraft

Epic wins help us learn. #ProjectLiteracy

Image via Flickr user Kevin Jarrett

The first time linguist and game studies theorist James Gee played a video game, he failed many times over. But instead of giving up, he merrily persevered, choosing to exercise “learning muscles” he hadn’t worked out since his grad school days. “Lots of young people pay lots of money to engage in an activity that is hard, long, and complex,” he realized. Games were evidence that humans love learning. But why do they seem to love it more during Minecraft than in the classroom?

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