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Elegant Variation

Did you miss our recent brand-new episode in which we talked about the game rock-paper-scissors, Band-Aids vs. plasters, Yiddish proverbs, jonesing, and more? Listen to it on our website or download the MP3. We aired a rebroadcast last weekend...

Puns in the Headlines

When President Barack Obama had the Oval Office redecorated in soft browns and beige, The New York Times headline read: “The Audacity of Taupe.” The hosts discuss how puns work, and what makes them clever. Martha recommends John...

Get Web Soon

Ben Schott’s language blog Schott’s Vocab on the New York Times website held a contest for modern age greeting cards called Get Web Soon. Among the favorites: “Heartfelt condolences on the loss of your data” and...

Whether or Not

Is the phrase whether or not redundant? Well, take this sentence: “Whether or not you like it, Martha is dressing as a ballerina.” Would that sound right without the or not? Now, the or not is technically redundant, but depending on the...

Blogs on Writing Well

Grant recommends two blogs about writing well and copyediting: Merrill Perlman writes The Language Corner blog for the Columbia Journalism Review, and Philip B. Corbett of the New York Times reports on actual grammatical and usage mistakes in that...

Who’s Your Googleganger?

It’s the news from your friends at “A Way with Words”! In our latest episode, we discussed “pore” vs. “pour,” “you’re” vs. “your,” “West Coast” vs. “Eastern...

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