A woman in Mammoth Lakes, California, says her father used to offer this advice: “In promulgating your esoteric cogitations or articulating your superficial sentimentalities, beware of preposterous ponderosities. In other words, don’t use big words.” This particular phrase and variations of it were passed around in 19th century, much like internet memes today. This is part of a complete episode.
- Hell for Leather 05/13/2017: Victorian slang and a modern controversy over language and gender. In the early 1900's, a door-knocker wasn't just what visitors used to announce their arrival,... [more]
- Skedaddle 05/08/2017: The months of September, October, November, and December take their names from Latin words meaning "seven," "eight," "nine," and "ten." So why don't their names... [more]
- Pop Stand 04/29/2017: When it comes to learning new things, what's on your bucket list? A retired book editor decided to try to learn Latin, and ended up... [more]
- Coast is Clear 04/24/2017: In the military, if you've lost the bubble, then you can't find your bearings. The term first referred to calibrating the position of aircraft and... [more]
- Sweet Dreams 04/08/2017: In deafening workplaces, like sawmills and factories, workers develop their own elaborate sign language to discuss everything from how their weekend went to when the... [more]