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Episode 1469

Gone to Seed

This week on A Way with Words: Restaurant jargon, military slang, and modern Greek turns of phrase. • Some restaurants now advertise that they sell “clean” sandwiches. But that doesn’t mean they’re condiment-free or the...

Ignorance Gone to Seed

The phrase ignorance gone to seed invokes an agricultural metaphor. Picture a field that is so far gone it’s no longer flowering and is now beyond the point of further cultivation. This is part of a complete episode.


Another word of the year candidate is immappacy, which is formed by analogy with “innumeracy,” and means the inability to understand maps. This is part of a complete episode.


lift  n.— «One consulting firm he knew of lost a bid to help an airline modernize its ticketing process when it revealed its ignorance of the term “lift,” common parlance in the industry for tickets.» —“Not-So-Small...

Happy New Year

Greetings, oh wordy ones! We're on vacation, so this past weekend's broadcast was a repeat--uh, "encore presentation"--that originally aired December 2nd and 3rd. It's the one in which we geek-out over...


moneyball  n.— «The word, moneyball, has pried its way into the baseball lexicon. There are moneyball players and moneyball teams. As with any kind of contrived language, the use of the term carries with it the stigma of stereotype, which...