A Way with Words
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A public radio program about language examined through history, culture, and family.
Sundog (episode #1507)
A clever pun can make the difference between a so-so phrase and a memorable one. The phrase “the last straw” refers to an old fable about too many items in
Oh, For Cute! (episode #1506)
A stereotype is a preconceived notion about a person or group. Originally, though, the word stereotype referred to a printing device used to produce lots of identical copies. • The
Coinkydink (episode #1505)
Sometimes it’s a challenge to give a book a chance: How many pages should you read before deciding it’s not worth your time? There’s a new formula to help with
Sweet Dreams (episode #1450)
In deafening workplaces, like sawmills and factories, workers develop their own elaborate sign language to discuss everything from how their weekend went to when the boss is on his way.
Gangbusters (episode #1448)
Sensuous words and terms of endearment. Think of a beautiful word. Now, is it simply the word’s sound that makes it beautiful? Or does its appeal also depend on meaning?