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John’s Genre Word Game

After noting how similar the word genre sounds to his own first name, Quiz Guy John Chaneski crafted a quiz that involves replacing the letters gen- with John- to form an entirely new word. For example, he says, from now on when you talk about a...

Where You At?

A listener in Marquette, Michigan, says her daughters criticize her for saying where you at? They argue that the word at in this case is unnecessary. In many cases, this phrase is indeed a pleonasm, but Grant explains that in some contexts this use...

Bull vs. Gentleman Cow

A caller from Amherst, Massachusetts, says that her grandmother, born in 1869, never called a bull a “bull,” but instead simply called it “the animal.” This kind of euphemism, along with “gentleman cow,”...

Grex Root

Martha spoke recently at an Audubon Society event, where she traced the role of the Latin stem greg-. It’s a form of the Latin word grex meaning “flock” or “herd.” This root appears in many English words involving...

Scissors, Paper, Rock

What’s the best way to win at scissors, paper, rock? Grant delves into the game’s various monikers, its roots going back centuries in Europe and Asia, and the role it plays among children learning about fairness. Studies have even been...

Mixed English Accents

A listener in Romania learned English in the Southern U.S., but after going back home to where a British English is taught, people are having a hard time understanding his accent. Where we learn a language plays a big role in how we speak it. This...