In this episode, Martha and Grant honor winners of the Ig Nobel Prizes, those wacky awards for weird academic research, and they help a caller decipher a puzzling word from a personals ad: what does paratereseomaniac mean? This episode first aired December 8, 2007.
A electronic teenager repellent? An alarm clock that runs away from you to make you’ll wake up? Yep, it’s the Ig Nobel Prizes, those awards for academic research that first makes you laugh and then makes you think. Martha and Grant honor this year’s winners for linguistics and literature.
A caller shares colorful expressions from her Texas-born mother, including turkey tail and I’m gonna snatch you bald-headed. She also wonders why her mother says bread and butter every time they’re walking together and an object in their path makes them step to either side of it.
A wife seeks consolation because her husband always implores her to “drive safe” instead of “drive safely.” Martha says if he really loves her, he’ll use an adverb. Grant says it’s a message of love, so maybe the -ly doesn’t matter so much.
You may have learned that an estuary is where a river meets the sea, but a reference librarian asks whether she should eschew estuary as a word for the confluence of freshwater bodies. Martha and Grant tide her over with some more information.
Photo by Nigel Howe. Used under a Creative Commons license.