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Is “Howdy” an Uncouth Greeting?

Years ago, Derek from Omaha, Nebraska, adopted the greeting howdy, but his wife says it sounds too uncultured. In a 2012 paper in the Journal of English Linguistics by Lauren Hall Lew and Nola Stephens describe howdy as a term that is enregistered...

Can You Not?

A Montreal, Canada, caller says that when he does something annoying, his wife will say simply, “Can you not?” He wonders if that construction is grammatically correct. This is part of a complete episode.

The Origins of “Shoo-In”

Hamid in San Diego, California, says that his wife is a job recruiter who finds people to fill high-profile positions. She will come home and say, “This candidate’s a shoo-in.” What’s the story with shoo-in? Where does it come from? It has something...

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