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Bringing Back Your Accent from Home

A Virginian who moved to Illinois is feeling nostalgic about her old Tidewater accent. What are some tips to help you regain the accent you grew up with? Some strategies for reclaiming one’s accent: Go back home for a visit, and save some...

Madcap Comedy

What is a madcap comedy? A fan of classics like Bringing up Baby wonders about the origin of the term. Martha explains that years ago, the word cap sometimes referred to one’s “head.” So if someone’s “madcap,”...

Somebody Loves You On the Radio

Hi-ho, Martha and Grant here! Did you miss us? We've been super-busy, working hard to keep bringing you more entertaining conversation about language. Thanks for the cards, letters, and phone calls in which you share your love, too. We...

gork

gork  v.— «Mark Roth’s career as a deanimator. As a gorker. Gorking is…well, gorking. You take away some creature’s supply of oxygen, you’re gorking it, man.…Nothing should live in those caves; instead, the caves were full of...

whippy

whippy  n.— «In Florida, back and neck strains are the most common personal-injury claim. They’re so common that attorneys have a nickname for them: “whippy’s.” That’s shorthand for whiplash suffered in, say, a rear-end...

speed juice

speed juice  n.— «Until yesterday I’d never had the chance to add liquid nitrogen—or speed juice, as my overclocking buddies and I have for years referred to it—to the mix.» —“Bringing the Antarctic to the processor” by...