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Terms of Endearment

What pet names do you have for your loved ones? In The Joys of Yiddish, Leo Rosten shares the name his Mother used to call him — bubala, a term of endearment grandmothers might use in addressing children. We have all kinds of substitutes for the...

Mixed English Accents

A listener in Romania learned English in the Southern U.S., but after going back home to where a British English is taught, people are having a hard time understanding his accent. Where we learn a language plays a big role in how we speak it. This...

Google Books Corpus

Grant is pleased as punch about BYU Professor Mark Davies’ new Google Books Corpus, which contains entries for every word ever in the entire Google Books database. In addition to parts of speech and definitions, the site provides contextual...

Original Orange

What came first, the color orange or the fruit? The original term is Sanskrit and refers to the fruit. As the fruit traveled west, the word came with it. Grant notes that, like the terms for parts of the body, the names of colors travel very well in...

Not My Forte

Is it worth using proper pronunciation if it makes you sound ignorant or misinformed? Contrary to the common understanding, the word forte is actually pronounced “fort.” Grant describes forte as a skunked word; it’s a losing...

Scoot, Scoot, Bandicoot

Howdy! Recently we talked about why some puns seem clever, while others fall flat as a pancake. Also, what’s the difference between “luggage” and “baggage”? What do you call someone who doesn’t eat fish? Plus, a...