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“Tang” Mystery is Solved!

There have been three brand-new episodes broadcast recently. Did you catch them? • Three weeks ago, it was Shank of the Evening, in which we talked about sports nicknames, flounder vs. founder, Laundromats vs. washaterias, Black Dutch...

Bacon-Flavored Language

It’s another A Way with Words newsletter! This past weekend’s episode was a rebroadcast, which we named “Pickles and Ice Cream.” English speakers use those two when they want to compare two things that don’t go well...

Eastern Seaboard, West Coast

Shadowdabbled. Moon-blanched. Augusttremulous. William Faulkner often used odd adjectives like these. But why? Grant and Martha discuss the poetic effects of compressed language. Also, African-American proverbs, classic children’s books, pore...

Have Your Confetti Ready?

Howdy, all -- Lots of new episodes heading your way, starting this weekend! Meanwhile, our most recent broadcast features idiosyncratic Scrabble rules, 800-lb. gorillas, "tickety-boo," the slang term "legit," and...

Over-Enunciating

Ever hear a broadcast where the announcer enunciates a little too precisely? Grant and Martha discuss the effect of softening syllables, such as “prolly” for “probably,” and “wanna” for “want to.” This...

Not the Sharpest Pickle in the Jar

Lots of things happening in Language Land these days! First, we were amused by the New York Times’ blog post titled, “Iceland Volcano Spews Consonants and Vowels.” We’ll say! Speaking of the word “blog,” Grant is...

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