What’s the right way to pronounce gyros? Have you ever heard of feeling poozley? Called something great a blinger? Use the expression one-off to mean a “one-time thing”?
This episode first aired October 3, 2009. Listen here:
Download the MP3 here (23.5 MB).
Grant and Martha recommend dictionaries for college students, both online references and the old-fashioned kind to keep at one’s elbow.
If you get hold of some bad sushi for lunch, you’ll wind up feeling poozley. A caller whose in-laws use poozley insists they must have made it up.
A Texas family has a dispute with a prospective in-law who happens to be a chef. Is their favorite spicy chocolate cake properly known as a sheath cake or a sheet cake?
One place where spelling really counts: on a job application. Martha shares some painfully funny proof.
Quiz Guy Greg Pliska shares a puzzle in verse, challenging the hosts to fill in the blanks with words that differ by just one letter. Like this: “I never count ___ when I’m going to ___; that method does not work for me. Right around five’s when I burst into hives: I’m allergic to wool, don’t you see?”
In medical terminology, the abbreviation GTTS means “drops” or “drips.” But why?
The hosts debate the right way to pronounce the name of that meaty Greek sandwiches known as gyros. Is it JEE-roh? JYE-roh? YEE-roh? Something more Greek-sounding?
Martha says her recent trip to Barcelona brought to mind a listener’s question about whether the word gaudy has anything to do with the name of the great Catalan architect, Antoni Gaudi.
A woman who grew up in Detroit remembers her mother saying, “This one’s going to be a real blinger!” whenever a big storm was coming. What exactly is a blinger?
A one-off is something that is done or made or occurs just once. A Washington State caller who’s curious about the term learns that it derives from manufacturing lingo.
The third edition of Bryan Garner’s book, Modern American Usage is now out. Grant explains why it’s a wonderful reference to consult, even when you disagree with it.
An ophthalmologist in Arcata, California, is puzzled by the way some of his older patients refer to a single lens. Several of them call it a len, not a lens. This gives the hosts a chance to focus on what linguists call back-formations.