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The Year-End Edition


Over the weekend, we played an archive episode featuring a special holiday quiz by John Chaneski. We also talked about “enormity,” “doorknob-hanging,” “cut to the chase,” and oddly phrased headlines.


As you have probably noticed, it’s “Words of the Year” time, with suggestions for candidates still coming in.

In the Voice of San Diego, Grant has a San Diego-specific list of notable words from 2010. Will “jack weenie” and “Geezer Bandit” catch on nationwide?


Over at the Baltimore Sun, John McIntyre offers his own look at this year’s crop.


If you’re in the mood for a silly movie for the holidays, you could do worse than watch “Balls of Fire,” starring Gary Cooper as the impossibly handsome slang lexicographer (is there any other kind?) and Barbara Stanwyck.

Cooper’s database, such as it is, is good for a few laughs, and you can watch the whole thing on hulu.com:


BEHIND THE SCENES: While Grant and the rest of the AWWW team are enjoying the holidays in San Diego, Martha is celebrating with the Latin side of her family in Argentina.

She reports that Buenos Aires is sweltering, but lovely as always, and she hopes to bring back some great slang specimens as souvenirs, which of course she will share on the show.

Don’t forget: There’s still time to make your year-end, tax-deductible contribution to help us keep bringing you thoughtful, informed conversation about language. Just follow the link:


Thanks, and Happy New Year!

Martha and Grant

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