Greetings!

In last weekend’s archive episode, we wondered who thinks up those crazy names for paint chips. We also discussed “spam” and “gringo,” dashes and semicolons, the term “first annual,” and wearing “bobos.” Listen here:

http://waywordradio.org/zig-zag-and-shilly-shally/

We asked you to come up with clever collective nouns for plants, like “a shepherd of phlox.” We’ve received some beauts, including “a pride of dandelions” and “a churn of buttercups.”

Listeners also posted some winners on the “A Way with Words” discussion forum. “A buddy of holly”? “An isle of yew”? (Say it three times fast.) Share your clever collective nouns here:

http://bit.ly/gnkSS8

Speaking of collectives, a “cete” is “a group of badgers.” David Foster Wallace circled this word in his American Heritage Dictionary. You can see other words that caught his eye here:

http://bit.ly/9tTPdt

The new David Foster Wallace archive at the University of Texas is the subject of a long article in Newsweek. The online version features photos of Wallace’s scribbled comments in other books and outtakes from “Infinite Jest.”

http://bit.ly/es9ZT4

Okay (or would that be “OK” or “O.K.”?), listen up. Roy Blount Jr. has a review of Allan Metcalf’s new book, “OK: The Improbable Story of America’s Greatest Word.” The review itself is pretty amusing.

http://nyti.ms/9w5fie

BEHIND THE SCENES: Longtime listeners may recall our conversation about “frass,” the scientific term for “caterpillar poop.”

We never expected to see this word used effectively in a non-scientific context, but last week we ran across it in a knockout of a poem. It’s called “Childhood,” by Debra Bruce:

http://bit.ly/eHidIK

Have a frass-free week,

Martha and Grant

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