A new app aims to make learning new vocabulary as easy as sending a text. Words U is an alternate keyboard app that turns autocorrect into an opportunity to learn new words.
The app lets you choose personas with distinct diction to emulate, including Valley Girl, Aristocrat, and Texan. When enabled, the keyboard will suggest altering your messages slightly to conform to the style of the character at hand, swapping words like “super excited” for “thrilled,” in the case of the aristocrat, or “like so psyched.” The keyboard will work with apps like Twitter, Snapchat, and iMessage, so you can solidify your virtual status as a Texan tweeter or, like, totally awesome texter. Behold:
While you might use the Valley Girl persona for fun for a day, the app has broader applications as an SAT prep tool, a synonym generator for ESL students, and simply a way to sound a bit more like the kind of person who reads the dictionary in her spare time. Outside of the classroom, it can be hard to pick up new words, even if you’re reading all the time. Amazing additions to your vocabulary like “spoonerism” (the accidental transposition of word sounds, often from the beginnings of words—such as a "shank of tarks" instead of "tank of sharks") don’t come up in many novels or news articles (unless you’re reading mental_floss, of course).
Words U is still in beta testing right now (sign up here) but the full app is scheduled to launch in January.
[h/t: IEEE Spectrum]