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Word Jocks Lettered in Language

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Pass the Gatorade! Martha and Grant work up a sweat in this episode as they tackle a sports quiz and lob vocabulary questions back and forth. They also settle a family dispute about the pronunciation of eco-friendly and unlock the etymology of skeleton key. This episode first aired December 1, 2007.

Ten-Dollar Words Online Quiz

 Do you know what a rampike is? Or a colobus? Martha and Grant test each other’s knowledge of ten-dollars words with the online quiz at FreeRice.com.


 A reader of Anthony Bourdain’s Kitchen Confidential thinks the book is snarky—but what does snarky really mean?

Last-Ditch Effort

 A husband and wife ask for wisdom about a long-running dispute: Is it last-stitch effort or last-ditch effort?

Double Plays Sports Quiz

 Greg Pliska’s quiz about terms from football, curling, and other sports leaves Martha and Grant winded but wanting more.


 How do you pronounce eco, as in eco-friendly? Is it EE-koe or EK-koe? A seller of environmentally friendly products learns whether she can tell her teenage son to go spread his pronunciation in the garden.

Skeleton Key

 A Wisconsinite hopes to unlock the question, “Why do we call it a skeleton key?”

Between You and I

 A caller in Texas stirs up a spat over whether it’s ever grammatically correct to say “between you and I”— even though Shakespeare did it.

Tape Bomb and Pixie Money

 This week’s “Slang This!” contestant guesses what the terms tape bomb and pixie money mean. Improvised explosive devices made out of cassette tapes? We don’t think so.

Record vs. Album

 If you release a collection of music on compact disc, can you still call it a record or an album? Or is it just a CD? A musician from Indiana wants an answer.

Affect and Effect

 Finally, to great effect, your unaffected radio hosts explain the difference between affect and effect.

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

Photo by Taki Steve. Used under a Creative Commons license.

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