A Way with Words — language, linguistics, and callers from all over

Description

A fun weekly radio show about language seen through culture, history, and family. Co-hosts Martha Barnette and Grant Barrett talk with callers who have questions and stories about linguistics, old sayings, word histories, etymology, regional dialects, slang, new words, word play, word games, grammar, family expressions, books, literature, writing, and more. Email your language questions to words@waywordradio.org or call with your questions toll-free *any* time in the U.S. and Canada at 1 (877) 929-9673. From elsewhere in the world: +1 619 800 4443. All past shows are free: http://waywordradio.org/. On Twitter at http://twitter.com/wayword.

Tags

wbez wbur improve esl public argot english speaking wfyi linguistics writing ncpr listen radio practice class pubmedia dictionaries npr colloquial dialect listening englishlanguage grammar lecture toefl englishlearning podcast course kpcc 226687 sociolinguistics secondlanguage ELL englishlistening kqed writers speech language better learn colloquialism bbc reading learning listenenglish pubradio puzzles media elt wnyc callin kpbs learner literature wgbh callers jargon tesol words kera wabe games kcrw lexicon slang khsu word

A Way with Words — language, linguistics, and callers from all over

Martha Barnette and Grant Barrett, produced by Stefanie Levine
1 Hair on Your Tongue - 11 February 20192019-02-11 07:59:00
Listen
Listen
2 Train of Thought - 4 February 20192019-02-04 07:59:00
Listen
Listen
3 Colonial English - 28 January 20192019-01-28 07:59:00
Listen
Listen
4 Pig Latin (Rebroadcast) - 21 January 20192019-01-21 07:59:00
Listen
Listen
5 Whistle in the Dark (Rebroadcast) - 14 January 20192019-01-14 07:59:00
Listen
Listen
6 Fickle Finger of Fate (Rebroadcast) - 7 January 20192019-01-07 07:59:00
Listen
Listen
7 Stars and Garters (Rebroadcast) - 31 December 20182018-12-31 07:59:00
Listen
Listen
8 Space Cadet - 24 December 20182018-12-24 07:59:00
Listen
Listen
9 Howling Fantods - 17 December 20182018-12-17 07:59:00
Listen
Listen
10 Cootie Shot - 10 December 20182018-12-10 07:59:00
Listen
Listen
11 Boss of Me (Rebroadcast) - 3 December 20182018-12-03 07:59:00
Listen
Listen

Boss of Me (Rebroadcast) - 3 December 2018

If you want to be a better writer, try skipping today's bestsellers, and read one from the 1930's instead. Or read something besides fiction in order to find your own metaphors and perspective. Plus, just because a city's name looks familiar doesn't mean you should assume you know how the locals pronounce it. The upstate New York town spelled R-I-G-A isn't pronounced like the city in Latvia. Turns out lots of towns and streets have counterintuitive names. Finally, why do we describe being socially competitive as "keeping up with the Joneses"? The Joneses, it turns out, were comic strip characters. Also, sugar off, filibuster, you're not the boss of me, and lean on your own breakfast. FULL DETAILS When it comes to the names of towns and cities, the locals don't necessarily pronounce them the way you expect. Charlotte, Vermont, for example, is pronounced with emphasis on the second syllable, not the first--and therein lies a history lesson. The town was chartered in 1762, the year after England's King George III married the German-speaking Princess Charlotte, and it's named in her honor. What's the deal with the use of person, as in I'm a dog person or She's a cat person? The word person this way functions as a substitute for the Greek-derived suffix -phile, meaning "lover of," and goes back at least a century. A woman from Hartford, Connecticut, remembers her mom used the term clackers to denote those floppy, rubber-soled shoes otherwise known as flip-flops, go-aheads, or zoris. Anyone else use clackers in that way? A listener in Reno, Nevada, wants to know: If one member of a long-term, unmarried couple dies, what's a good term for the surviving partner, considering that the usual terms widow and widower aren't exactly correct?   To sugar off means to complete the process of boiling down the syrup when making maple sugar. Some Vermonters use that same verb more generally to refer to something turns out, as in that phrase How did that sugar off? Quiz Guy John Chaneski's puzzle involves social media "books" that rhyme with the name Facebook. For example, Manfred von Richthofen, a.k.a. the Red Baron, posts on on what fancifully named social media outlet? A Los Angeles, California, listener says his grandmother, a native Spanish speaker, used the word filibustero to mean "ruffians." Any relation to the English word filibuster? As a matter of fact, yes. To encourage diners to dig into a delicious meal, an Italian might say Mangia!, a French person Bon appetit! and Spaniard would say Buen provecho. But English doesn't seem to have its own phrase that does the job in quite the same way. A Palmyra, Indiana, listener observes that in online discussions of Pokemon Go, Americans and French-speaking Canadians alike use the word lit to describe an area of town where lots of people playing the game. This usage apparently is related to the earlier use of lit to describe a great party with lots of activity, or recreational drug use. If you think the city of Riga, New York, is pronounced like the city in Latvia, think again. A listener in Brazil wants to know about the source of the phrase keeping up with the Joneses, which refers to trying to compete with others in terms of possessions and social status. This expression was popularized by a comic strip with the same name drawn by newspaper cartoonist Arthur "Pop" Momand for several years during the early 20th century. If you're sitting on a subway or airplane seat and someone's invading your space, you can always offer the colorful rebuke Lean on your own breakfast, meaning "straighten up and move over." Essayist Rebecca Solnit has excellent advice for aspiring writers. The phrase You're not the boss of me may have been popularized by the They Might Be Giants song that serves as the theme for TV's "Malcolm in the Middle." But this turn of phrase goes back to at least 1883. A woman whose first language is Persian wonders about the word enduring. Can she describe the work of being a parent as enduring? While the phrase is grammatically correct, the expression enduring parenting not good idiomatic English. The poetic Spanish phrase Nadie te quita lo bailado expressing the idea that once you've made a memory, you'll always have it, no matter what. Literally, it translates as "no one can take away what you've danced." In a roadway, the center lane for passing or turning left is sometimes called the chicken lane, a reference to the old game of drivers from opposite directions daring each other in a game of chicken. For the same reason, some people refer to it as the suicide lane.   A bible lump, or a bible bump, is a ganglion cyst that sometimes forms on the wrist. It's also called a book cyst, the reason being that people sometimes try to smash them with a book, but  don't try this at home! This episode was hosted by Martha Barnette and Grant Barrett. -- A Way with Words is funded by its listeners: http://waywordradio.org/donate Podcast listeners, contact us with your questions and comments! Email words@waywordradio.org or call toll-free 24 hours a day (877) 929-9673 in the US and Canada. Everywhere else call +1 (619) 800-4443. https://waywordradio.org/ Copyright Wayword, Inc., a 501(c)(3) corporation. All rights reserved.…read more

12 Spur of the Moment (Rebroadcast) - 26 November 20182018-11-26 07:59:00
Listen
Listen
13 Bottled Sunshine - 19 November 20182018-11-19 07:59:00
Listen
Listen
14 Care Package - 12 November 20182018-11-12 07:59:00
Listen
Listen
15 Hell for Leather (Rebroadcast) - 5 November 20182018-11-05 07:59:00
Listen
Listen
16 Ding Ding Man - 29 October 20182018-10-29 06:59:00
Listen
Listen
17 Take Tea for the Fever - 22 October 20182018-10-22 14:02:22
Listen
Listen
18 Sun Dog - 15 October 20182018-10-15 06:59:00
Listen
Listen
19 Oh For Cute - 8 October 20182018-10-08 06:59:00
Listen
Listen
20 Coinkydink - 1 October 20182018-10-01 06:59:00
Listen
Listen