Wednesday, January 25, 2017

This Week: Romancing the podcast + impeach

To impeach a public official is to bring formal charges against him or her. It is not, as many people suppose, to remove the charged official from office. Impeachment must be followed by a formal trial and conviction to achieve that result.

A source you would never think of accusing of any wrongdoing is “unimpeachable.”


On the podcast this week, we begin a series of discussions on the word romantic.

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

This Week: More pronunciation on the podcast (French this time!) + rondezvous/rendezvous

The first syllable of “rendezvous” rhymes with “pond” but is not spelled like it. It comes from a word related to English “render” and is hyphenated in French: rendez-vous. In English the two elements are smooshed together into one: “rendezvous.”


On the podcast this week, we make a few more pronouncements about pronunciation (this time it's French).

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

This Week: Pronunciation on the podcast + "lite" spelling

“lite” spelling
Attempts to “reform” English spelling to render it more phonetic have mostly been doomed to failure—luckily for us. These proposed changes, if widely adopted, would make old books difficult to read and obscure etymological roots, which are often a useful guide to meaning. A few—like “lite” for “light,” “nite” for “night,” and “thru” for “through”—have attained a degree of popular acceptance, but none of these should be used in formal writing. “Catalog” has become an accepted substitute for “catalogue,” but I don’t like it and refuse to use it. “Analog” has triumphed in technical contexts, but humanists are still more likely to write “analogue.”


On the podcast this week, we make a few pronouncements about pronunciation.

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Corrected Link: This Week's Podcast

The link provided for the podcast this week was incorrect in the previous post. Please follow this link to listen to the conclusion of our 2016 wrap-up.

This Week: More on 2016 in review + steak/stake

“Stake” has many meanings, but the only time to use “steak” is when you are talking about a hunk of meat.


On the podcast this week, we continue our discussion wrapping up 2016 by discussing usage-related stories, including the Plain English Foundations worst-of-the-year list.