Brianna exclaims confusedly, “I can’t phantom why he thought I’d want a coupon for an oil change for Valentine’s Day!” A phantom is a ghost, but a fathom is a nautical measure of depth. When you can’t understand something—being unable to get to the bottom of it—you should say, “I can’t fathom it.” “Phantom” is not a verb.
Paul Brians’ most recent blog post discusses “ghosting” through the ages. Does Paul have other interests besides English usage? Of course! He’s also an authority on the history of American comic strips.
The podcast is just a ghost by now, but you may still listen to all the episodes you may have missed. Episodes 40 and 41 are about American comic strips.