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What does it say about our driving that Americans have so many expressions that mean “to roll past a stop sign without stopping”? California stop, California roll, Michigan roll, and many more. We discuss them in our latest new episode.

We also talked about:

  • mute point vs. moot point
  • Puddin’ Tame
  • skeuomorphs
  • go hermantile
  • voracious readers
  • apricity
  • Indian cooking
  • and more, including a word game.

Go our website to read the notes on the new show or download the MP3.

Writers’ Utopia

Grant and Martha will do a live interview on the streaming audio channel of Litopia, a writing community formed in the UK but joined by writers from around the world.

On Sunday, March 25, you can hear it at 8 p.m. BST in the UK and 3 p.m. EDT/noon PDT in the US. Go to the Litopia site and click on the big silver button that says “click to listen.” You can also participate live during the interview.

By the way, the last Litopia “After Dark” interview was with British novelist Jeffrey Archer. He opens by saying that if he had been a character out of mythology, he would have chosen Ganesh, though he has managed to avoid the potbelly so far.

Have You Supported Your Public Radio Station Today?

This weekend Martha will join our friends at KHSU in Arcata, California, to help with their fundraising drive. Martha and Grant often go on the microphone during pledge drives for stations across the country.

Live on-air help is something not everyone gets a chance to offer, however, so we encourage you do to what you can for your favorite public radio station right away.

Everyone at A Way with Words supports a local public radio station — sometimes more than one, if listening to more than one is a habit. Have you given to your local station lately? Considering how much one can spend on a cell phone or cable Internet, giving to public radio seems like a bargain.

Of The Day

Speaking of giving, did you know that master language maven Bryan Garner has been posting the full text of his style and usage advice, one entry at a time, on his blog? High-quality content at no cost.

The blog started with entries beginning with R in July 2011 but that continues an alphabetical run started years ago in his email list from Oxford University Press. He was in H in August of 2007. At this rate, he should hit entries beginning with Z by 2015.

Call On Me

Insider’s tip: You can call us with your language questions whenever one occurs to you, even if you’re not listening to the show or it’s the middle of the night. Just call one of the numbers below and leave a message. We’ll listen to the message and if it’s something we think everyone would like to hear and discuss, a producer will call you back to get you on a future episode.

We will hear your drunk-dials, too.

Peace and love,

Martha and Grant

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Further reading

The Black Dog (episode #1536)

Books were rare treasures in the Middle Ages, painstakingly copied out by hand. So how to protect them from theft? Scribes sometimes added a curse to the first page of those books that was supposed to keep thieves away — and some were as vicious as...

Animal Crackers (episode #1636)

Images of birds flutter inside lots of English words and phrases, from “nest egg” and “pecking order,” to proverbs from around the world—including a lovely Spanish saying about how birds sense light just before dawn. Plus...