In this week’s episode, it’s old terms like “eleemosynary” and “logodaedaly,” and new ones like “catio.” We discuss how to pronounce “coyote,” what Brits may mean when offer you a “joint,” when “cowpie” entered English, the “larrupin'” in “larrupin’ good,” and whether “Guess what” needs a question mark. Listen:
Many of you have asked during this election season why it’s “gubernatorial,” not “governatorial.” The Boston Globe’s Jan Freeman recently traced the history of “gubernatorial,” starting with its Latin root, “gubernare.” Lots of people find the word annoying. Too close to “goober,” perhaps?
How much do you love your favorite novel? Enough to commit whole lines to memory? Good. Enough to commit those lines to your epidermis permanently? The New Yorker reports on “literary tattoos.”
No tattoos for us, please. We’re aichmophobes.
Over on our Facebook page recently, we recommended this collection of videos about language from the University of Nottingham:
What? You haven’t explored the “A Way with Words” Facebook page? Join us there all week for informal chats about such topics as “liberty” vs. “freedom,” the ring of moisture that a cold glass leaves on a table (“culacino”), and whether newfangled toilet paper will be the death knell for “oh-ah oh-ahs” and “der ders”.
By the way, if you’re wondering about the “Rabbit, rabbit” at the top of today’s newsletter, here’s the scoop:
BEHIND THE SCENES: We were gobsmacked to realize that this week’s recording of “A Way with Words” marks the 100th episode that the two of us have done together. This calls for a celebration, but how to celebrate “One Hundred Hours of Nerditude”? Send us your suggestions!
Anyone know where to get shiny confetti in the shape of serial commas?
Have a great week,
Martha and Grant