Granted, we could personally think of much more amazing ways to put supercomputers
to work, but maybe there is some sort of benefit to humanity by knowing precisely what our ancestors' first words
were. All that aside, the IBM ThamesBlue supercomputer has been tapped by language masters at the University of Reading in order to find that 'I,' 'we,' 'who' and the numbers '1,' '2' and '3' are amongst the most ancient across all Indo-European languages. Comically enough, it was also found that words like 'squeeze,' 'guts,' 'stick,' 'throw' and 'dirty' were also markedly archaic, which sure says a lot about how men in particular, um, don't evolve
. At any rate, these new computational powers have reportedly opened up another 25,000 years or so of language study, so we suspect the folks on this project will be occupied for some time to come.