Whoever wrote “The Book of Love” neglected to include the handy emoticon <3, which looks like a heart if you turn your head sideways. Grant and Martha talk about how that bit of affectionate shorthand can function as a verb, and about the antiquated words for “kiss,” osculate and exosculate.

This episode first aired February 13, 2010.

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 Kiss Emoticon
Whoever wrote “The Book of Love” neglected to include the handy emoticon <3, which looks like a heart if you turn your head sideways. Grant and Martha talk about how that bit of affectionate shorthand can function as a verb, and about the antiquated words for “kiss,” osculate and exosculate.

 Waste Not, Want Not
A Houston woman says her family makes fun of her for saying “waste not, want not.” Does this proverb make literal sense?

 Talking in Text
BTDubs, a San Diego caller notices that more of her co-workers are talking in text, saying things like “BRB” instead of “Be right back” or “JK” instead of “Just kidding!” Is it a passing fad, or a new way of speaking?

 One Last Kiss
Mwah, mwah, mwah, mwah, mwah, mwah… MmmmmWAH! Martha shares the German verb that means to plant one last kiss in a series of them.

 Fill-in-the-Blank Limerick Puzzle
Quiz Guy John Chaneski has a fill-in-the-blank limerick puzzle, including:

There was once a coed named Clapper
In psychology class quite a napper.
But her Freudian dreams
Were so classic it seems
That now she’s a __________________.

 Self-Referential Humor
“I feel more like I do now than I did a while ago.” The hosts discuss that and other examples of self-referential humor, like “Before I begin speaking, I’d like to say something.”

 Male Mistress
A woman having an affair with a married man is a mistress. So what’s the word for an unmarried man who’s having an affair with a married woman? Consort? Leman?

 Literary Kisses
Martha shares the famous passage from the poem by Catullus that begins, “Give me a thousand kisses…“ Grant reads an excerpt from the 1883 volume, The Love Poems of Louis Barnaval by Charles de Kay.

 Genealogy Chart
What’s the difference between a second cousin and a cousin once removed? Here’s a helpful chart from Genealogy.com.

 Volcano Riddle
What did the boy volcano say to the girl volcano?

 Knock On Wood
A caller from Ocracoke Island, North Carolina, wonders about the origin of “knock on wood.” The hosts do, too. More about the unusual language of Ocracoke here.

 Scissorbill
What’s a scissorbill? A bird? A hog? And how did its name get transferred to refer to anyone who’s lazy or ineffectual?

 Proper Plurals
A caller from San Diego, California, wonders about the proper way to pluralize analysis: is analysises ever correct?

This episode is hosted by Martha Barnette and Grant Barrett, and produced by Stefanie Levine.

Photo by Kate Ter Haar. Used under a Creative Commons license.

Books Mentioned in the Broadcast

The Love Poems of Louis Barnaval Edited by Charles Dekay
The Kiss and its History by Christopher Nyrop
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