In an earlier episode, we speculated about the origin of the phrase go commando, which means to go without underwear. We suggested that it was somehow associated with being “tough as a commando,” gritting one’s teeth through the attendant chafing. But a listener who served as an infantryman in Vietnam has a different take. After a comrade suggested he “go commando,” he discovered that opting out of his army-issued boxer shorts actually made him more comfortable in the tropical heat. We love these firsthand reports about language, so keep ’em coming. This is part of a complete episode.
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- Ding-Ding Man (episode #1509) 10/29/2018: In 1803, a shy British pharmacist wrote a pamphlet that made him a reluctant celebrity. The reason? He proposed a revolutionary new system for classifying... [more]
- Take Tea for the Fever (episode #1508) 10/22/2018: Silence comes in many forms. Writer Paul Goodman says there is, for example, the noisy silence of "resentment and self-recrimination," and the helpful, participatory silence... [more]
- Sundog (episode #1507) 10/15/2018: A clever pun can make the difference between a so-so phrase and a memorable one. The phrase "the last straw" refers to an old fable... [more]
- Oh, For Cute! (episode #1506) 10/08/2018: A stereotype is a preconceived notion about a person or group. Originally, though, the word stereotype referred to a printing device used to produce lots... [more]