In last weekend's archive episode, we discussed the musical language of railroad conductors’ calls. Also, the military slang term cumshaw, tips for learning Latin, the influence of Spanish on English, hell-to-the-no, and "how the cow ate the cabbage." Listen:
Big news from Dictionary Land this week! The online version of the Oxford English Dictionary is officially relaunched. Take a guided tour of the new, online OED:
We're eagerly anticipating the American Dialect Society's vote on 2010's "Word of the Year" in January. Meanwhile in Germany, a panel has chosen that country's "Youth Word of the Year," and it's a great one: "niveaulimbo." Literally, it means "limbo of standards." And yes, the idea is something that goes lower and lower.
Deutsche-Welle reports that "niveaulimbo" connotes "the ever worsening quality of TV programs, the atmosphere at a party that thins out before midnight, or a conversation that quickly hits the gutter when alcohol is involved." More:
We've chuckled over the years at the "Bad Sex in Fiction" award from Britain's Literary Review. But in Salon, Laura Miller argues that such eye-rolling does more harm than good: "Is there any reason why the literature that makes us laugh, cry, and rage shouldn't also, occasionally, turn us on?"
BEHIND THE SCENES: Be sure to check out next week's episode, which includes Grant and Martha's book recommendations for word lovers of all ages on your gift list.
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Thanks from your fellow word lovers!
Martha and Grant