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Language And Grammar

The Leonard Lopate Show

Jeepers Creepers, Gee Whiz, and Gosh Almighty!

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Our word maven Patricia T. O'Conner shan't be bleeped as she teaches us the history of mild, euphemistic oaths.

Comments [101]

The Leonard Lopate Show

Why is Turkey Called Turkey? Your Other Language Questions Answered

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Our word maven, Patricia T. O’Conner, looks at the etymologies of some “New World foods” found on our Thanksgiving tables.

Comments [36]

The Leonard Lopate Show

The Scandalous History of Proper English

Thursday, August 28, 2014

How language “mistakes” have come to be accepted as correct—or not.

Comments [11]

The Leonard Lopate Show

Bolster, Explicate and Amplify Your Vocabulary

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Ben Zimmer quizzes us on what words mean and explains some of the most often misunderstood common words.

Comments [21]

The Leonard Lopate Show

Language and Imagination, Images and Isolation

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. on vaccines. Photojournalist Julia Leeb describes documenting life in North Korea. A book designer examines what we see when we read. Plus, a vocabulary quiz!

The Leonard Lopate Show

The War That Gave Us 'Cooties'

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Patricia T. O’Conner looks at the words invented during World War I—like blimp, doughboy, even cooties.

Comments [10]

The Leonard Lopate Show

How Bad English Became Good English

Monday, June 30, 2014

How language “mistakes” have come to be accepted as correct—or not.

Comments [20]

The Leonard Lopate Show

It's a Jungle Out There: Internet Lies, Mexico City, and Joan Rivers

Monday, June 30, 2014

Charles Seife explains why, when it comes to the Internet, you shouldn’t believe everything you read—and how to tell the difference between truth and fiction. Francisco Goldman talks about trying to make sense of Mexico City, one of the world’s largest metropolises. We’ll find out how many words in the English language were once considered linguistic mistakes, slang, or just plain wrong. And the one and only Joan Rivers takes us inside her everyday world and shares her thoughts on life, celebrities and pop culture.

The Takeaway

How's Your English? Celebrating Grammatical Sins

Monday, June 02, 2014

Ammon Shea's new book, "Bad English: A History of Linguistic Aggravation," is a celebration of grammatical sins of sorts. He says that new words, with new meanings and new rules of grammar, are all just signs of a healthy thriving language.

Comments [70]

The Leonard Lopate Show

Word Maven Patricia T. O'Conner

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Patricia T. O'Conner answers questions about language and grammar. An updated and expanded third edition of O’Conner’s book, Woe is I: The Grammarphobe's Guide to Better English in Plain English, is available in paperback, as is  Origins of the Specious, written with Stewart Kellerman.

Leave your questions about language and grammar!

Comments [22]

The Leonard Lopate Show

Words Wrought by Writers

Monday, May 19, 2014

William Shakespeare invented and or popularized many turns of phrase, including bedazzled, hurry, critical, and anchovy. We'll find out about other writers who added to the lexicon.

Comments [6]

The Leonard Lopate Show

Word Maven Patricia T. O’Conner on Sportscaster Language

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Baseball season is about to begin, so our word maven, Patricia T. O’Conner, is here to talk about sportscaster language. She’ll also answer questions about language and grammar. An updated and expanded third edition of O’Conner’s book, Woe is I: The Grammarphobe's Guide to Better English in Plain English, is available in paperback, as is  Origins of the Specious, written with Stewart Kellerman.

If you have a question about language and grammar, leave a comment or call us at 212-433-9692!

Comments [29]

The Leonard Lopate Show

Apple After Steve Jobs; "Ode to Joy"; Dinaw Mengestu's Latest Novel; Patricia T. O'Conner

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

On today’s show: former Wall St. Journal reporter Yukari Iwatani Kane talks about what’s been happening at Apple in the since founder Steve Jobs died. Then, playwright Craig Lucas and stars Kathryn Erbe and Arliss Howard discuss the new play “Ode to Joy.” Dinaw Mengestu tells us about his latest novel, All Our Names. And with the start of March Madness and the baseball season right around the corner, our “word maven” Patricia T. O’Conner takes your calls on the language of sportscasting!

The Leonard Lopate Show

Our Word Maven Looks for Lost Words

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Our word maven, Patricia T. O’Conner, talks about “lost” words—words that once had a literal meaning but are now used only in their metaphorical senses, like “masthead” and “loophole”.

Comments [37]

The Leonard Lopate Show

The Story of English; Clean Sweep for the New Year

Friday, December 27, 2013

David Crystal looks at 100 words that reveal the wide variety of influences that have shaped the English language. And Apartment Therapy's Maxwell Ryan gives advice and answers questions about how to get organized for the new year.

The Leonard Lopate Show

Philip Shenon on the Kennedy Assassination; Actress Lupita Nyong'o; Victoria Loustalot's Memoir; Our Word Maven

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

On today’s show: Philip Shenon shares his secret history of the Kennedy assassination—and tries to answer questions about President Kennedy’s death that people are still asking 50 years later. Lupita Nyong’o talks about her breakout role as Patsey in the film “12 Years a Slave.” Victoria Loustalot describes making peace with her father’s memory by taking the trip he had promised to take her on before he developed AIDS and died. And our “word maven” Patricia T. O’Conner takes your calls and questions about the idiosyncrasies of the English language.

The Leonard Lopate Show

Word Maven Patricia T. O’Conner's Brand New

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Our word maven, Patricia T. O’Conner, talks about the word "brand" and the ways it's evolved. She’ll also answer questions about language and grammar. An updated and expanded third edition of O’Conner’s book, Woe is I: The Grammarphobe's Guide to Better English in Plain English, is available in paperback, as is  Origins of the Specious, written with Stewart Kellerman.

If you have a question about language and grammar, leave a comment or call us at 212-433-9692!

Comments [35]

The Leonard Lopate Show

German Words for the Human Condition

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Ben Schott explains the German language and discusses his book Schottenfreude: German Words for the Human Condition, a dictionary of newly coined words that explore the idiosyncrasies of life as only the German language can. German allows you to construct specific words for a secret love of bad foods, the inability to remember jokes, Sunday-afternoon depression, the urge to yawn, the glee of gossip, reassuring your hairdresser, delight at the changing of the seasons, the urge to hoard, or the ineffable pleasure of a cold pillow.

Comments [7]

The Leonard Lopate Show

Word Maven Patricia T. O'Conner Goes Back to School

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Our word maven, Patricia T. O’Conner, talks about new words and back-to-school words. She’ll also answer questions about language and grammar. An updated and expanded third edition of O’Conner’s book, Woe is I: The Grammarphobe's Guide to Better English in Plain English, is available in paperback, as is  Origins of the Specious, written with Stewart Kellerman.

If you have a question about language and grammar, leave a comment or call us at 212-433-9692!

Comments [39]

The Leonard Lopate Show

Nuclear Arms and Safety; Linda Ronstadt; Back-to-School with Patricia T. O'Conner

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Investigative journalist Eric Schlosser looks into the management and near-misses of our nuclear arsenal—and how we ensure that our nuclear missiles aren’t stolen, sabotaged, or detonated by accident. Linda Ronstadt talks about her life and her career—and her recent announcement that she has Parkinson’s disease and will never perform again. Plus, our word maven Patricia T. O’Conner takes your calls and questions about the intricacies and idiosyncrasies of the English language!