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  • 08/20/12--21:01: Chewing Some Olde Fat
  • Whence came the expression "upper crust"? Lucy Ferriss and a friend, both in former British colonies, investigate some expressions.

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  • 08/23/12--21:01: Say It Ain’t So, Joe
  • When Vice President Biden addressed a largely black audience as "y'all," he implicitly acknowledged the importance of race in this election—even if a gentleman must not actually say so, writes C.S. Giscombe.

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  • 09/17/12--21:01: Empire of Signs
  • Road signage tells the American in Britain more than where he wants to go, says Bill Germano.

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  • 09/19/12--21:01: With a Nasal Drawl
  • Allan Metcalf wonders about the linguistic precision of a common way to describe an accent.

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  • 09/23/12--21:01: Freeway, Come Home!
  • Allan Metcalf questions the provincialism of Hollywood in misnaming a Colorado dog.

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  • 09/24/12--21:01: Eye-rate About Eye-ran
  • Ben Yagoda wishes more Americans would pronounce the country's name correctly.

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    Lucy Ferriss examines the term and its relationship to another one: "lie."

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    Geoff Pullum is worried that bickering over the failure to use the so-called subjunctive verb form "were" is needlessly wrecking a relationship.

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  • 11/28/12--21:01: Hey, ‘Lady’! An Exchange
  • Ben Yagoda and his daughter Maria discuss the comeback of "girls," and how "Lady" became the most popular way for young women to address one another.

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  • 12/12/12--21:01: I Guess ‘It’s a Thing’
  • The phrase has been appropriated not just by teenagers but by reporters, bloggers, and mediocre Canadian comedians. Ben Yagoda unpacks it.

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  • 01/22/13--21:01: Peeking Under the Lid
  • Lucy Ferriss explains the rapid, widespread rise of the term "lid" in the mid-60s and its equally rapid and complete disappearance in the mid-70s. If you have a different idea, she’d be delighted to hear it.

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    The Dictionary of American Regional English is about to go digital, Allan Metcalf notes, and it’s looking for beta testers.

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  • 01/31/13--21:01: How We Speak
  • Allan Metcalf says there’s one place to go to find out what’s really going on in the American language: the journal "American Speech."

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  • 02/03/13--21:01: Words: a Time Capsule
  • Which words of the 20th century or now will become the future’s Obsolete Words That Should Make a Comeback? Suggest some, and Lucy Ferriss will write a follow-up.

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  • 03/06/13--21:01: Rockin’ Robin
  • A paper conjecturing the evolution of language from birdsong moves Lucy Ferriss to wax lyrical.

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    College basketball cliches, Ben Yagoda has noticed, are a dime a dozen.

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  • 04/08/13--21:01: DARE Up in the Air
  • The "Dictionary of American Regional English," going from print to online, is in trouble, says Allan Metcalf, and it needs your help.

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    Ben Yagoda examines a new use of the word "even" by the young.

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    Lucy Ferriss examines the usage "graduated college": What sounds correct today was not always so.

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  • 05/05/13--21:01: The Comic Stylings of POTUS
  • The remarkable thing about Obama doing stand-up, says Ben Yagoda, is that he really is the coolest guy in the room.

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