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How to Address the President

How should news organizations refer to elected officials, past and present? There’s not much consensus among print and broadcast companies, but most organizations have their own set of rules. For example, NPR’s policy is to refer to the...

News from Planet Word

Hi, all -- In this week's episode of "A Way with Words": If you want to make a room cooler, do you "turn up" the air conditioning? Or do you "turn it down"? Also, "croaker" meaning a...

Centricity Word Game

Quiz Guy Greg Pliska has a game called “Centricity”, emphasis on the “city.” For example, “Mickey ate all the fruit, leaving Minneapolis.” And as George H.W. Bush said to George W. Bush, “You can be...

Throw the House Out the Window

Buenos! In this week’s archive edition, we consider alternatives to the word “retirement.” We also discuss “swan song,” “bike-shedding,” “tohubohu,” “criteria,” and how to pronounce...

Pardon Our French

South African English is a rich mix of Afrikaans, English, and indigenous languages such as Zulu and Xhosa. Martha and Grant discuss some favorite terms from that part of the world, including lekker, diski, and ubuntu. Also, where’d we get the...

Pet Dog Name Change

Martha shares another email about the evolution of a pet’s name, in this case a dog whose original name was Dumpster. Now the pooch is named after the 19th president of the United States. Sort of. This is part of a complete episode.

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