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Anaheim, Azusa, and Cu-ca-monga!

All aboard! This week, a bit about the musical language of railroad conductors’ calls: “Anaheim, Azusa, and Cu-ca-monga!” Also, the origin of the military slang term cumshaw, tips for learning Latin, the influence of Spanish...

One Hundred Hours of Nerditude

Rabbit, rabbit! In this week’s episode, it’s old terms like “eleemosynary” and “logodaedaly,” and new ones like “catio.” We discuss how to pronounce “coyote,” what Brits may mean when offer...

X L N C U X L

We hope that when it comes to conversation about language, you haven’t been sufficiently suffonsified, because there’s lots to talk about in this week’s archive episode. For starters, there’s the way some pets take a while to...

Crash Blossoms: When Words Collide

This week, it’s headlines that make you do a doubletake, like “Child’s Stool Great for Use in Garden.” Martha and Grant discuss a few of these bloopers, also known as crash blossoms. Also, if you unthaw something, are you...

X, Y, and Zed

Some teachers are using a controversial tactic to get young students reading: They let their pupils choose which books to read for class. Does it work? Also, should that line at the grocery store checkout read 15 items or less or fewer? And is the...

Awkward Turtle

Do you say something happened on accident or by accident? Is text-messaging destroying our kids’ writing ability? Where do horseradish, zarf, and ignoramus come from?