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Episode 1553

Play It by Ear

How does social context shape our perception of language? When hiking the Appalachian Trail, a young woman from Wyoming found that fellow hikers assumed she was from another country, not only because of how she spoke, but also how she looked...

Punctuating “Guess What”

Guess what! Or would that be Guess what? A Honolulu listener asks about the right way to punctuate this interjection. Should you use an exclamation mark or a question mark? How about an interrobang or a pronequark? This is part of a complete episode.

Bogarting Bangers

Has the age of email led to an outbreak of exclamation marks? Do women use them more than men? Also, is there a word for the odd feeling when you listen to a radio personality for years, then discover that they look nothing like your mental picture...

Bangs in your Inbox

Writing in the Guardian, Stuart Jeffries contends that our email boxes are being infested with exclamation marks, known as bangs or bangers (without mash) to some people. Jacob Rubin also wrote on the subject a couple of years ago in Slate. This is...