Buenos!

In this week’s archive edition, we consider alternatives to the word “retirement.” We also discuss “swan song,” “bike-shedding,” “tohubohu,” “criteria,” and how to pronounce “crayon.” Listen here:

http://waywordradio.org/the-thought-plickens/

It’s almost here! The granddaddy of all word-of-the-year selections, the American Dialect Society’s 21st annual vote, happens Friday in Pittsburgh. Grant, who is a vice president of the society, will be there.

Some observers are betting on the word “junk,” as in “don’t touch my.” But as Grant told the San Diego Union-Tribune, he doesn’t think “junk” has a snowball’s chance:

http://bit.ly/hn8Mjz

Meanwhile, if there’s a Dictionary FAIL of the Year, it’s probably the one sent to us by listeners Julio Diaz of Tijuana, Mexico and Dan Henderson of Sunnyvale, Ca.

http://bit.ly/gvWyjr

Sending your children to Mandarin classes is trendy these days. But New York Times columnist Nick Kristof, who’s fluent in Chinese, makes a powerful argument that it’s smarter to make your children learn Spanish first.

http://nyti.ms/f3gkBg

BEHIND THE SCENES: Martha is newly besotted with sunny Uruguay, where she’s vacationing with la familia. New Year’s Eve there gave her a whole new understanding of the Spanish phrase “tirar la casa por la ventana.” Literally, it’s “to throw the house through the window”–in other words, “to have a blast.”

We’ll be back with new episodes of our show in two weeks!

Hope your year is off to a great start,

Martha and Grant

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