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Episode 1578

Today I Learned

Youngsters want to know: What’s the difference between barely and nearly, and what’s so clean about a whistle, anyway? Plus, adults recount some misunderstandings from when they were knee-high to a grasshopper. Kids do come up with some...

Episode 1531

Loaded for Bear

One way to make your new business look trendy is to use two nouns separated by an ampersand, like Peach & Creature or Rainstorm & Egg or … just about any other two-word combination. A tongue-in-cheek website will generate names like...

Apologetic Apostrophes

What’s it called when saying becomes sayin’? It’s not a trick question; it’s simply called an abbreviation. Grant and Martha settle an English major’s confusion about the possibility of a trickier term. With words like...

Burrito Baby

More and more college students are getting pregnant — with burrito babies. Grant talks about new terms for “a full stomach” and other examples of campus slang. Also, is it safe to play on the macadam? And: overegging the pudding, what it...

Not My Forte

Is it worth using proper pronunciation if it makes you sound ignorant or misinformed? Contrary to the common understanding, the word forte is actually pronounced “fort.” Grant describes forte as a skunked word; it’s a losing...

A Few Pickles Short of a Jar

“A few pickles short of a jar,” “a few peas short of a casserole,” “two French fries short of a Happy Meal”—this week, Martha and Grant discuss these and other full-deckisms, those clever ways to describe someone...