How much humor and personality can you pack into a 140-character update? A lot, it turns out. Martha and Grant talk about funny Twitter feeds. Also this week, the origins of skosh and can’t hold a candle, why dragonflies are sometimes called snake doctors, whether the word pre-plan is redundant, and how technology is affecting the experience of reading.
This episode first aired September 24, 2010. Listen here:
Download the MP3 here (23.5 MB).
Martha and Grant share some of their latest guilty-pleasure reading from Twitter feeds that show just how much meaning can be compressed into 140 characters. Cases in point: @veryshortstory and @GRAMMARHULK.
He can’t hold a candle to someone means that he can’t possibly compare to the other person. The hosts explain where this phrase comes from.
A zoo tour guide wants a specific word to describe how elephants procure hydration.
Quiz Guy John Chaneski presents a puzzle called “This, That, and the Other.”
A Facebook newbie asks if it’s okay to misspell words on purpose when communicating via social media.
The mother of eight-year-old twins wonders why one of her girls habitually adds dun-dun-DUN! to sentences in everyday conversation. The hosts suspect it’s related to the audio element known as a “sting” in television and movie parlance, like this one in the famous “Dramatic Prairie Dog” video clip.
The term skosh means “a small amount,” and derives from a Japanese word that means the same thing.
Remember when the expression “reading a book” meant, well, actually reading a book? Martha and Grant discuss a Los Angeles Times series about how electronic devices are changing the way we read.
The distinctive shape of the dragonfly has inspired lots of different nicknames for this insect, including snake doctor, devil’s darning needle, skeeter hawk, spindle, snake eyes, and ear sewer, the last of which rhymes with “mower.”
What’s the correct term for the male lover of a married woman? The hosts share suggestions from listeners, including paramour and sancho.
A firefighter is annoyed by his boss’s use of the term pre-plan.
Martha shares the term hit and giggle, a bit of sports slang term she picked up while working as an announcer at this year’s Mercury Insurance Open tennis tournament.