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Get Happy! New Research Shows All Language Might Be Inherently Positive

Unfortunately, the same can’t necessarily be said for the people speaking it.

image via (cc) flickr user eutouring

Spend enough time on the internet, and you might start feeling an inescapable sense of melancholy from the constant barrage of bad news, mean-spirited tweets, and divisive Facebook posts from that guy you haven’t spoken to since high school. But while an endless stream of depressing words scrolling across your laptop screen might put you in a funk, a new study indicates that language itself isn’t necessarily such a bummer; There may, in fact, be an inherent trend toward the positive across the spectrum of human languages.

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Cities and places fill us with certain feelings. There’s a flair in the flavors and sounds of Miami fill us with the insatiable urge to dance, while a stroll through a leafy Chicago neighborhood makes us want to greet every passerby with kindness. We may not notice, but we can feel the spirit of a city, apparent in the way the locals greet each other, a certain resilience after defeat, or swelling pride after a hard-won independence. But how do we put that into words? One language may be (and often is) insufficient for all the cultures of the world. Words like the Serbian “inat” and the Danish “hygge” can express the heart of the cultures and their cities. Check out these beautifully hard-to-translate words here.

And, in the meantime, tell us about your signature moments using #goodcitiesproject

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The State of Summer School: Teens Are Hitting the Books Year-Round

Top high school students are feeling the pressure to get into the best colleges, so they're signing up for summer school. Willingly.

When I was in high school I spent my summers letting my nerd flag fly high by doing things like sitting around reading The Count of Monte Cristo—all 1,312 pages of it—in one day. My peers hit up the pool or roamed the mall, but none of us ever considered going to summer school. For my generation, summer school was where the "bad" kids who ditched class to smoke weed in the parking lot went so they could still graduate on time. But nowadays if you live in a city where summer school hasn't been eliminated due to district budget cuts, chances are that the honors and AP crowd is more likely to spend June, July, and part of August waking up early and schlepping backpacks to campus—and it's all driven by the desire to get into a top college.

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