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Norwegian Tann Paste

In an earlier episode, we discussed linguistic false friends, those words in foreign languages that look like familiar English words, but mean something quite different. Martha reads an email response from a listener who learned the hard way that in...

Perendination and Procrastination

Hi, language lovers! Happy March 4, and Happy National Grammar Day! (Get it? “March forth” and syntactically sin no more?) Join the revelry here: Just don’t say we didn’t warn you about the earworm from that grammar song...

Coinkydinks and Big Boxes

We all misspeak from time to time, but how about when we mangle words on purpose? Do you ever say fambly instead of family, perazackly for exactly, or coinkydink for coincidence? When Grant recently wrote a newspaper column about saying things wrong...

brown out

brown out  v. phr.— «The Redwood City Fire Department can stave off “browning out” one engine by cutting one fire firefighter per truck on all companies—a move that significantly limits the ability to respond to emergencies but will...