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Ineluctable

Ineluctable, meaning inescapable, is one of those words Martha has to look up in the dictionary every time she sees it. But noting its Latin origin, luctari, meaning “to struggle,” and therefore related to reluctant, will help. This is...

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.

Remembering Definitions

If you think back on all the words you’ve looked up in the past year, only to turn around and forget their definitions immediately, Martha’s New Year’s resolution sounds like a no-brainer: be a little more mindful, and take care to...

Friends are like Fish

After we talked in an earlier episode about what Martha calls anyway friends–those friends you pick right up with after not speaking for a long time–a listener sent in this quip: Friends are like fish, they’re fresh when you catch...

Martha’s Tocaya

Martha Barnette gets a call from Martha Barnett, her Canadian tocaya who’s missing an “e” at the end of her last name. On the Global News website, you can see that the name Martha, perhaps now an anomaly in Canada, peaked in...