Top o' the mornin' to you!
This week, crazy crossword clues, why Marines are called "Gyrenes," "jury-rigged" versus "jerry-rigged," the difference between "Duh!" and "No duh!," anglicized Italian idioms, and what's in a "cannibal sandwich." Listen here:
Now that we've all reset our clocks: Is it "daylight savings" or "daylight saving"? Originally, the term was singular--"daylight saving time"--and that's still preferred.
However, no one should give you a hard time for saying "daylight savings," which may trip more easily off the tongue. No need to capitalize, either, unless you're writing about the law that put it into place.
For a more literary look at "falling back," some reflections by Mary Oliver, Derek Walcott, and other contemporary poets:
Then there's the email we received from listener Meg Potempa, who notes, "When a clock is hungry, it goes back four seconds." Ow.
Ever wonder why reporters use "lede" for "the first part of a news story"? The Columbia Journalism Review addresses this and other journalistic jargon:
For freelance writers and would-be authors, practical advice from Writer's Digest:
Spain is one of the few countries with an official body handing down rules of grammar and usage. The Spanish Royal Language Academy is poised to announce some new ones, such as changing "Iraq" to "Irak."
Speaking of foreign languages, Lydia Davis opines in The Paris Review about why foreign classics deserve new translations from time to time.
BEHIND THE SCENES: We had great fun testing our wits against New York Times crossword puzzle editor Will Shortz recently . Will was kind enough to create an anagram quiz specifically for "A Way with Words" listeners.
We'll be posting this special mini-edition of "A Way with Words" on iTunes and on our own site soon.
Martha and Grant