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The Oxcars Quiz

In honor of the 2011 Academy Awards, Quiz Guy Greg Pliska offers his own puzzle version, The Oxcars. The trick is that the nominees for Best Picture at the Oxcars have the same titles as this year’s real nominees for the Oscar, but with one...

It’s in My Wheelhouse

What was your first word? Grant and Martha talk about how children acquire language. Also, if you say that something’s in your wheelhouse, you mean that it’s within your area of expertise. But why “wheelhouse”? And what does...

Cut to the Chase

This week: whether cotton-pickin’ is racist, unintentionally funny headlines, whether enormity can simply mean “enormous,” how a person can be “such a pill,” and pandiculation. “It’s good stuff, Maynard...

When “Bad Writing” is Good

Ahoy! In this week’s brand-spankin’-new episode: Great gifts for language lovers, nerds vs. geeks, “tow the line” vs. “toe the line,” the slang term “poutrage,” and the crust in the corners of your...

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...

2010 Oxcar Quiz

Quiz Guy Greg Pliska presents a puzzle about the Oxcar awards, given to fictitious films, the names of which differ by just one letter from the names of the real 2010 Best Picture Oscar nominees. Here’s one such plot: “George Clooney...

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