Is the term “Oriental” offensive? Where do we get the phrase “not one iota“? Why do we tell someone to “take a gander“? And who coined the word “supercalifragilisticexpialidocious“?
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“Outside of a dog, a book is a man’s best friend. Inside of a dog, it’s too dark to read.” This kind of sudden, surprising turn in a sentence is called a paraprosdokian. Martha and Grant trade some examples.
Instead of crying “uncle,” an Indiana woman’s family cries calf-rope! She wonders if this expression of submission is unique to her family.
Why do we say “take a gander” for “have a look”?
Will Rogers was a master of paraprosdokians. Martha shares a favorite.
“Too much sugar for a dime” can mean either “too good to be true,” or “more trouble than it’s worth.” Merle Travis and Judy Hayden sing about.
Quiz Guy John Chaneski reprises his popular “Puzzle Hunt” game.
A Chinese-American says she’s not offended by the term “Oriental,” but she’s been told she should be. Who’s right?
The expression “not one iota” means not one bit. Martha explains that it goes back to ancient Greek, and explains its connection to the Sermon on the Mount.
A caller was taught that “peruse” means to examine closely and carefully, but increasingly hears people use it to mean skim quickly.
“Evolving English: One Language, Many Voices” is a new exhibit at the British Library in London featuring the earliest printed versions of Beowulf, the Wycliffe and King James Bible, and the oldest known example of written English.
A physicist is curious about the term learning curve. He pictures it as a pair of axes. But if that’s the case, what’s X and what’s Y?
Who coined supercalifragilisticexpialidocious?
Martha shares another paraprosdokian.
What’s the correct adjective to describe something associated with the Democrats? Is it Democrat or Democratic?
Blueberry buckle is a dessert with cake batter, fruit, and a streussel topping. What does that have to do with buckles?