Why do we make a hand-crank motion when asking someone to roll down their window? After all, in most new cars, that’s done with the press of a button. An outmoded gesture like this is similar to a skeuomorph, a design element that still used even though it no longer has a function. For example, smartphones still use images of old handsets or tape recorders to indicate phone and voicemail functions. This is part of a complete episode.
- 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]
- Gone to Seed 04/03/2017: This week on A Way with Words: Restaurant jargon, military slang, and modern Greek turns of phrase. • Some restaurants now advertise that they sell... [more]
- Scobolotch 04/03/2017: Scobolotch is a term used in Wisconsin for the mayfly that may derived from a Native American language. Variants include scobblotcher and skoplotch. This short-lived... [more]
- Flet and Dray 04/03/2017: The words flet and dray (or drey,) refer to types of squirrel's nests. This is part of a complete episode. ... [more]