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Moist, Expresso Dating, and Dying Tongues

Bop-lop-a-boom-bop lop-bam-boom. It's another issue of the A Way with Words newsletter!

This past weekend we aired an episode in which a caller told us that she finds the word "moist" repugnant. She's not the only one!

We also talk about derogatory uses of "kumbaya," espresso vs. expresso, and dying languages.

https://www.waywordradio.org/expresso/

Our colleagues at the blog Language Log have done a good bit of information-gathering about the phenomenon of "word aversion," including aversion to "moist." See their work here:

http://tinyurl.com/2fr4zk

Join the Facebook group "I HATE the word MOIST":

http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=2221467350

On the show, Grant mentioned a 2004 New York Times Magazine article by Jack Hitt about dying languages. Jack writes, "In two generations, a healthy language--even one with hundreds of thousands of speakers--can collapse entirely, sometimes without anyone noticing. This process is happening everywhere."

Read the rest: http://tinyurl.com/2jw44u

We are pleased to have received in the mail two sample boxes of "Phenomenonsense Puzzle Cards" from Lea Redmond. She has made her own examples of the ever-popular word blends, in which two words are mashed up to form one, but she has gone a step further to draw illustrations, to print them on cards, and to bundle them into tins.

She ends up with things like the "narwalnut," a narwhal (a type of tusked Arctic whale) with the face of a walnut shell (or is a walnut with the horn and tail of a narwhal?). Our particular favorite is the "harmonicup": a coffee cup with rim made of a circular harmonica. Jigs and shanties will break out in the bistros!

You can find images of Lea's nifty cards and submit your own ideas at

http://phenomenonsense.com

That's all from the wordster front but don't forget that National Grammar Day is March 4th!

http://nationalgrammarday.com/

Martha Barnette and Grant Barrett

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