904. "Through" and "throughout" may seem interchangeable, but they're not. We have some creative memory tricks to help you remember the difference. Plus, we have fun with the word "honeyfuggler."
903. A listener heard some jargon, and then got annoyed by "said" jargon, so we explored why. Plus, who the heck are your kith? And finally, we got excited about the first new Scrabble words since 2018.
902. Language reflects culture, so it's no surprise that giving thanks hundreds of years ago was different from giving thanks today. We have the fascinating history. And then, since "Thanksgiving" is a gerund, we looked at all the interesting things you can do with gerunds in general.
901. WWII spawned a bunch of new words, including "boffin" and "bonkers." We'll look into the history of these fun words and more in honor of Veterans Day. Plus, we'll talk about why an Australian called her desk being on fire, "a bit of an issue."
900. The story of the @ symbol is much bigger than email. In fact, it was used for hundreds of years before being saved from obscurity by the invention of electronic communication. I explore the medieval origin story of @, plus share a bunch of fun names for it in other languages. Also, many style books recently removed the hyphen from dual-heritage terms like "Asian American," and I explain why in a segment that includes a tribute to former Los Angeles Times editor Henry Fuhrmann.
899. Believe it or not, "magick" isn't just a funky way of spelling "magic." The two spellings have different meanings. Plus, we look at the unusual origins of other cool words that make us think of Halloween: "haunt," "grave," "mesmerize," and "macabre."
898. Randall Munroe joined me this week to talk about his language-themed xkcd cartoons, his simple-language project Up Goer V, his biggest pet peeve, his favorite words, and his new book "What If? 2." But I have to confess that my favorite part was his tidbits about the bee laws.
897. Have you ever written yourself into a "that that" or a "had had" situation and wondered how you got there? It doesn't mean you're a bad writer! I explain why this happens sometimes and how to best fix it. Also, we talk about the fascinating subconscious rules that guide conversations.
896. If you've ever wondered why we pronounce the "-ed" at the end of "wicked" (and "jagged," "beloved" and more), but don't at the end of words like "aggrieved," this show is for you! You'll also discover why "wicked" is different from "naked" and what's weird about the phrase "wicked witch." Plus, you'll learn why we call some food "deviled."
895. A listener asked why he's hearing people refer to men as "widows," and we found a surprising history. Also, I recently mentioned a blurb I wrote, and a reader wanted to know where we get that funny word "blurb."