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“Scat Cat!” Sneeze Response

Dexter in Clintonville, Alabama, reports that his Minnesota-born wife was baffled after she sneezed and he responded with Scat cat! Across the American South, this phrase and variations of it serve as an informal response when someone sneezes. Other...

Informal Fridge Foraging

Roz Chast, a cartoonist for The New Yorker magazine, asked her followers on Instagram for their terms for informal fridge-foraging, and says she received more than 1700 responses, including California plate, spa plate, having weirds, eek, mustard...

Because Internet

The new book Because Internet: Understanding the New Rules of Language is a smart, engaging, introduction to language and linguistics in general. It’s also rich with insights about how we communicate online. With verve, wit, and nerdy delight...

Emphatic Yes

Just so you know, there are more exciting ways to spell yes. Yass, yiss, and other variants including more S’s are used both in speech and informal writing to convey added enthusiasm and personality. This is part of a complete episode.

Victuals and Vittles

The word victuals is pronounced like “vittles” and refers to cooked foods and shares a Latin root with vitamin and vitality. Sometimes it’s spelled vittles, a form often associated with more informal or rustic speech. This is part...