More and more college students are getting pregnant — with burrito babies. Grant talks about new terms for “a full stomach” and other examples of campus slang. Also, is it safe to play on the macadam? And: overegging the pudding, what it means to be gobsmacked, the difference between who and whom, apostrophe placement, how to pronounce “coup de grâce,” and the embarrassing results when a smartphone mistakenly autocorrects text messages.
This episode first aired February 20, 2011.
Remember the classic children’s story “Where the Wild Thongs Are”? (We didn’t think so.) That’s just one of the autocorrect horror stories that can happen with smartphone auto-mis-corrections. Martha and Grant discuss several more.
Boy’s Room vs. Boys’ Room
Should the sign on the boys’ bathroom at a school read “Boy’s Room” or “Boys’ Room”? The hosts clarify where to put the apostrophe.
A fifth-year senior? That term is so 2007. These days, college students just refer to that extra year of school as taking a victory lap. Grant shares this and other examples of campus slang collected by University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill professor Connie Eble.
Overegging the Pudding
If someone has overegged the pudding, they’ve overstated the case. This may explain why a lawyer from Lawrence, Kansas, found the phrase in a judicial opinion.
Aaron and Erin
Are the names Aaron and Erin pronounced the same? A bicoastal listener insists they should sound different. A longer discussion about Erin vs. Aaron is on the Straight Dope message board.
Known Misspelling in Quote
The word sic, meaning “thus” in Latin, is placed in the text when an author knowingly quotes a misspelled word or otherwise incorrect statement.
A native of Southern Pennsylvania has always used the term macadam in place of asphalt. Martha traces the word from an old gravel road to the modern day tarmac.
A Japanese idiom, referring to someone who takes credit for another’s work, translates as “doing sumo in someone else’s underwear.”
The Worm has Turned
If you say, “The worm has turned,” it means you’ve lost patience. Grant and Martha explain that this expression goes back to the old proverb “Tread on a worm and it will turn.”
More and more college students are getting pregnant with burrito babies. Grant explains that that this slang term simply means that someone’s stomach is full from a hefty meal, which is also known as a food baby.
Coup de Grâce
What is the proper use and pronunciation of the French term coup de grâce? Grant and Martha explain how the term has been twisted, both in pronunciation and meaning.
How can you tell the difference between who and whom? A listener shares a chant learned in grade school to remember the proper usage.
Grant shares a bit of military humor related to cumshaw, the art of procuring what you need in ingenious ways: “There is only one thief in the army. Everyone else is just trying to get their stuff back.”
Hurts So Good
You know the feeling when something hurts so good? A massage therapist looks for a term that describes this mix of pleasure and anguish. Sensanguish? Hedonalgia, maybe?
Listener Tom Swifties
Grant shares Tom Swifties sent in by listeners: “Aw, shucks, I dropped the toothpaste,” Tom said crestfallenly, and “I’ve located the experts,” Tom said profoundly.
Photo by Jeffrey W. Used under a Creative Commons license.
Music Used in the Broadcast
|Marvin’s Groove||B. W. Souls||Marvin’s Groove||Round Records|
|B.A.||Jive Turkeys||B.A.||Colemine Records|
|Nyx||Karl Hector and The Malcouns||Sahara Swing||Now-Again|
|Mercy, Mercy, Mercy||Dick Hyman||Mirrors||ABC Records|
|Cassette Era Jam||R&T||Future B-Sides||Timeless Takeover|
|Hold On I’m Coming||Reuben Wilson||Love Bug||Blue Note|
|Followed Path||Karl Hector and The Malcouns||Sahara Swing||Now-Again|
|Groovin’||Dick Hyman||Mirrors||ABC Records|
|Respect||Dick Hyman||Mirrors||ABC Records|
|House of Mirrors||Dick Hyman||Mirrors||ABC Records|
|Let’s Call The Whole Thing Off||Ella Fitzgerald and Louis Armstrong||Best of Ella Fitzgerald and Louis Armstrong||Polygram Records|