- The Washington Times - Wednesday, December 4, 2013

What’s in a word? Quite a lot, if the word is “huh?”

Dutch linguists claim that the typical American grunt is an actual word found around the world in 31 different languages.

Researchers from the Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics (yes, that’s a word, too) argue that “huh” is a “universal word” that shows up in languages in Africa, Asia, Europe, Latin America and, of course, in the U.S., the Netherlands Embassy said Wednesday.

“Furthermore, the word’s function remains constant in all languages … [and] used when you haven’t quite heard the speaker just right,” the embassy said.

The researchers in the Dutch city of Nijmegen “propose to show that ‘huh’ is, in fact, a word — that it is more than a simple grunt or reflexive sound,” the embassy added.

Tell that to the Canadians, eh?



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