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Elbow Clerk

Speaking to a conference of judges and lawyers, Grant learns the term elbow clerk, meaning a clerk who works in the judge’s chambers. This is part of a complete episode.

Where You At?

A listener in Marquette, Michigan, says her daughters criticize her for saying where you at? They argue that the word at in this case is unnecessary. In many cases, this phrase is indeed a pleonasm, but Grant explains that in some contexts this use...

Do Parrots Really Known Language?

A listener in Hartland, Vermont, has a 25-year-old African parrot named Trouble, and says he’s often asked about the bird’s vocabulary and how the two of them communicate, which raises the question “What is a word?” Grant...

Love Puffs

Grant came across a lovely discussion on Metafilter about ways to denote farting. His two favorites: making a little wish, and love puff, used at that point in a relationship where you feel okay passing gas in front of your significant other. This...

Language Without Metaphors

Would you rather write in a language with no punctuation or without the use of similes or metaphors? Grant and Martha agree that texting has proven our ability to get a point across without periods or commas. On the other hand, sometimes an idea...

Linguistic “Would You Rather?”

Let’s play a round of linguistic Would You Rather: Would you prefer that everyone talk in language that uses only verbs or only adjectives? Grant and Martha both had the same preference. See if you agree. This is part of a complete episode.