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Turkish Proverb for Listening

A Turkish proverb about listening and paying attention: To one who understands, a mosquito is a lute. To one who does not understand, a drum and zurna are little. This is part of a complete episode.

Taking Umbrage

To take umbrage means to take offense or be annoyed at something. It comes from the Latin umbra, meaning “shadow,” as in umbrella. So to take umbrage is to sense something shady, or suspect that one has been slighted. This is part of a...

Flounder vs. Founder

What’s the difference between flounder and founder? To flounder is “to struggle or thrash about,” while to founder is “to sink or to fail.” Surprisingly, the verb flounder shares no etymological root with the fish...

Sexless Objects

Our two most recently aired episodes were Going All-City last week and The College Slang Party the week before that. They’re reruns more than six months old — which means you’ve forgotten half of what’s in them, right? Give...

You Want Vocal Fry With That?

Hellooooo, nurse! We have two recent brand-new episodes to share, plus some language news, along with a bit about what’s going on with us. First, on the show this past weekend we talked about eponyms, jo-jo potatoes, dog breed mashups, the...

Everything is Tickety-Boo

News reports that the makers of Scrabble were changing the rules to allow proper names left some purists fuming. The rumors were false, but they got Grant thinking about idiosyncratic adaptations of the game’s rules. Also this week, the...