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The Exception for Y’all

Alan from Austin, Texas, asks: How do y’all punctuate the contraction of you all? Is it y’all or ya’ll? You’d think it’d follow the pattern of she’ll and we’ll, but y’all is an exception to the rule...

Rhymes with “Sigh”

A caller says her relative always used an interjection that sounds like sigh for the equivalent of “Are you paying attention?” The hosts suspect it’s related to s’I, a contraction of says I. This expression open appears in...

You Sound Old

Ever drop a reference that just makes you sound, well, of a certain age? Grant and Martha discuss language that’s lost on other generations. Why is the entree the main course? Shouldn’t it come first? And why is the letter k silent in...

Sesquipedalian Language

A veteran broadcaster recalls a brilliant example of sesquipedalian language. Fifty years ago, he stubbed his foot on the beach and a group of college boys told him to go to his parents and get an anatomical juxtaposition of the orbicular ors...

Suggestions to Avoid Malapropisms

When it comes to proper grammar, “Where you at?” ain’t where it’s at. A mother is concerned that her child will pick up such malapropisms as “Where you at?” and “My mother and me went to the store.”...

The “Its” Just Keep on Coming

Hello, fellow wordies! We hope this week’s archive edition isn’t “a few pickles short of a jar” or “a few peas short of a casserole.” We talk about these and other phrases for “not measuring up.” Also:...

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