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Episode 1526


The autocomplete function on your phone comes in handy, of course. But is it changing the way we write and how linguists study language? Also, suppose you could invite any two authors, living or dead, to dinner. Who’s on your guest list and...

Infixing and Tmesis

Scott in Cape Cod, Massachusetts, wonders if the words nother as in a whole nother and abso-bloomin-lutely are real words. Yes, they are! The construction a whole nother is an example of what linguists call tmesis, which involves the insertion of a...

Episode 1396

Brown as a Berry

It used to be that you called any mixed-breed dog a mutt. But at today’s dog parks, you’re just as likely to run into schnugs, bassadors, and dalmadoodles. Also, if someone has a suntan, you might say he’s brown as a berry. But...

Whole Nother

A whole nother may feel right to say, at least informally, and you will find it in dictionaries, but it’s better to avoid it in formal writing and speech. This is part of a complete episode.

Validity of “Nother”

A Chicago man says he was caught up short when he caught himself writing the words “a whole nother.” Is nother really a word? The book Grant recommends on the topic is Everything You Know about English is Wrong, by Bill Brohaugh. This is...

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