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Career Ascension or Career Advancement?

Brandon from Lewes, Delaware, is eager to move up the career ladder, and has been telling people he seeks a path to ascension within a company. Is ascension the right word to use in this case? A better choice would be advancement. Generally...

Folksy Putdowns

A collection of Virginia folkspeak from 1912 includes this zinger about a proud person: “He doesn’t know where his behind hangs.” And here’s a choice insult: “I’d rather have your room than your company!”...

Bah, Humblebrag!

What’s your choice for the 2011 word of the year? Grant shares some of his picks. Speaking of picks, why do football commentators seem to love the term pick-six? Also, great quotations from writers, the meaning of such Briticisms as cheeky and...

Roly-Polies

There’s another brand-new episode for you to catch up on, in which we talk about “sonker” (a kind of fruit cobbler), suss (is it British?), roly-polies (a bug which by any other name would still look like a tiny armadillo), and a big...

Who’s Your Googleganger?

It’s the news from your friends at “A Way with Words”! In our latest episode, we discussed “pore” vs. “pour,” “you’re” vs. “your,” “West Coast” vs. “Eastern...

Words of the Year

What’s your choice for 2010’s word of the year? Mama grizzly? Starwhacker? Who could forget vuvuzela? Martha and Grant discuss the five-oh in Hawaii 5-0, and whether the tagline “I approve this message” is grammatical. Also...