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Blind Pig
2017-08-19 18:23
Pat from Elk Rapids asked about the establishment known as a blind pig. It was known as a blind tiger in the south, and it was also referred to as a hole in the wall elsewhere.The whole thin… Read More
-lude And –clude
2017-08-11 20:46
Karl asked if the words ludicrous and interlude are based on the same root. The short answer: in spite of the spelling-challenged rapper, yes. Both came from the Latin verb ludere, to play… Read More
Misinformation & Disinformation
2017-07-23 16:04
Ben from Traverse City asked about the difference between disinformation and misinformation. Let’s start with the base word information. Information is knowledge communicated about som… Read More
Portmanteau Words
2017-07-05 17:01
Veronica from Traverse City, Michigan, asked for the name of words that are formed by mashing them together. Traditionally, they are called blends. Thanks to Lewis Carroll (Through the Looki… Read More
2017-07-01 15:33
Jim from Petoskey, Michigan, asked why the humble hot dog has more than one name. As often happens when naming food or drink, territoriality is involved.Those who maintain that the item was… Read More
Udderly Slow
2017-06-17 16:42
Jim from Northport wrote: “The other night on Wheel of Fortune, the contest phrase was, till the cows come home. I say that the use of till in that clause is incorrect, while my wife a… Read More
Whoever Or Whomever?
2017-05-28 21:49
Fran from Suttons Bay was watching reruns of Criminal Minds when she heard the following dialogue:  “The killer wants to inflict fear not only in the victim, but in whomever finds… Read More
Embarrass
2017-05-20 14:37
Van from Petoskey was curious about the word embarrass. It seems to have come into English from the French, but it has cousins in Italian, Spanish, and Portuguese. It now means to make a per… Read More
Candidity
2017-04-30 18:57
I know there’s no such word as candidity,  but I like the sound of it. A listener asked about the word candor. It now means openness, frankness, and outspokenness. Originally… Read More
No Man Is An Island
2017-04-15 17:22
The Latin word insula had two meanings, one dry and one wet. It meant a block of buildings separated from surrounding structures, and it also meant an island – a land mass completely s… Read More

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