Happy Palindrome Day--or, if you prefer, "011110 Day"--from your friends at "A Way with Words"!
Lots to report from Language Land:
First, there are a number of recent full-length episodes you may not have heard.
---Words of the decade, emotions caused by speaking certain languages, "Main Line brat," throw someone under the bus, mind your P's and Q's, and more:
---Crash blossoms, unthaw, sell like hotcakes, gender-neutral pronouns, knuckleheads, and more:
---Odd names for athletic teams, nauseous vs. nauseated, pronouncing "sorry," Blue Dog Democrats, complainer vs. complainant, and more:
We've also got the first of a series of minicasts up. This one is an interview with "Jeopardy!" champion Ken Jennings. Hear the charming fellow:
Look for more special online-only mini-episodes in the coming weeks.
As you may have heard, at its annual conference last weekend the American Dialect Society chose "tweet" as 2009's "Word of the Year" and "google" as the Word of the Decade. Grant talked about these and other winners, including "Dracula sneeze," on NPR's "Weekend Edition" with Liane Hansen.
Rumor has it that Grant's imitation of Dracula during that interview has the producers of "Twilight" weighing the possibility of future cameos. As for Grant, he remains sanguine about it all.
For an entertaining close-up view what folks talk about at the ADS conference, check out the Washington Post's story and video:
Our own listeners are still talking about replacing the term "retirement" with a word that better reflects the vigor and energy with which so many retired people are determined to live.
Among the suggestions we've received in the past week: rebooting, reframing, reformatting, rephasing, re-engagement, re-vocation, to be "in jubilation" (from the Spanish for "retirement"), "being an entrepreneur," and "being unencumbered."
Now, if we could all come up with a better term for "senior citizen."
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Please let us know if you have thoughts to share about language or other suggestions for the show. We get hundreds of emails each week, but rest assured that even if we can't respond to every one, we do read them all, and every one becomes an ingredient in the zesty bouillabaisse that is "A Way with Words."
Martha Barnette and Grant Barrett