Words and Phrases That Tick Us Off! (114)

Words and Phrases That Tick Us Off! Barbara Shepherd and Dave Shepherd are grouchy at the end of a tough work week. They explore words and phrases that tick them off.

Thanks to Warren G., John P., Andreas B., Elin P. David W., Mary T., and Nancy E.-W. for donations through the PayPal button. Thanks also to Paul L., that Hawaiian word curmudgeon, for an email that inspired this show. (2:16)

Overused words of 2008; words that have lost their meaning from overuse; the most used words in English. Check out britannica.com. (6:19)

Music bumper from “Ockham’s Shaving Kit” by George Hrab (18:53)

Redundancies (20:55)

Song: “Misunderstood” by Carolyn Wonderland (24:07)

Rude Word of the Week: “hack” (27:33)

Music bumper from “Tell Me a Bedtime Story” by the Jay Lawrence Trio. (31:16)

Words and phrases that are commonly misused. (They bug us because we get them wrong! (32:06)

Music courtesy of The Podsafe Music Network and the Ioda Promonet

Theme music by Kick the Cat

Closing theme from “Grapes” by Evan Stone

time: 39:16

size: 36 Mb

rating: PG (Passing reference to prostitution in our Rude Word segment.)

Miss UnderstoodCarolyn Wonderland
“Misunderstood” (mp3)
from “Miss Understood”
(Bismeaux Records)

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Thermal StrutJay Lawrence Trio
“Tell Me a Bedtime Story” (mp3)
from “Thermal Strut”
(OA2 Records)

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Abbrevs. & txt (113)

Abbrevs. & txt: Howard Chang and Dave Shepherd try not to LOL as they talk about text messaging and abbreviations.

Howard Chang is back! The rumors of his demise were greatly exaggerated. (2:24)

Abbreviations throughout history: nearly as old as the Roman alphabet (at least) (3:41)

Music bumper from “The Message” by Norman Hedman’s Tropique. (16:08)

Discovering “online” language (18:03)

Song: “The Cell Phone Song” by Acres and Acres (21:42)

Rude Word of the Week: “WTF” (24:56)

Music bumper from “Cell Phone” by Times Four. (28:32)

Popular current abbreviations (29:18)

Music courtesy of The Podsafe Music Network and the Ioda Promonet

Theme music by Kick the Cat

Closing theme from “Grapes” by Evan Stone

time: 41:02

size: 37.6 Mb

rating: PG-13 (Our Rude Word is an abbreviation of the big taboo, the “F-bomb.”)

RelationsTimes 4
“Cell Phone” (mp3)
from “Relations”
(Groove Tonic Media)

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Currency (112)

Currency: Howard Shepherd and Dave Shepherd cash in on the latest news and trends as they talk about currency–in money and in speech.

Investing something (language or money) with value; potency and context (2:10)

Profanity and language in different cultural contexts; a citation from John Ciardi, the Charles Hodgson of the 1980s (8:30)

Music bumper from “Topsy” by The Jay Lawrence Trio (10:39)

Reputation as value: political capital, economic perception, relative value (13:05)

Song: “Gimme the Money” by Harper (21:50)

Rude Word of the Week: “piss-poor” (26:19)

Music bumper from “Just Looking” by The Jerrys. (28:41)

What creates value? Tangible vs. intangible exchanges (29:26)

Music courtesy of The Podsafe Music Network and the Ioda Promonet

Theme music by Kick the Cat

time: 39:59

size: 36.6 Mb

rating: PG-13 (We discuss some taboo insults from non-English languages.)

Thermal StrutJay Lawrence Trio
“Topsy” (mp3)
from “Thermal Strut”
(OA2 Records)

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Down To The RhythmHarper
“Gimme The Money” (mp3)
from “Down To The Rhythm”
(Blind Pig Records)

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Morphing, Changing, and Dying Words (111)

Morphing, Changing, and Dying Words: Barbara Shepherd and Dave Shepherd look at words that shift and change over time–or sometimes die out altogether.

Thanks to Carlos in Spain, who recently helped us discovered a technical problem with our site and podcast. The Word Nerds now have a page on Facebook. (Dave briefly confuses Facebook with MySpace.) (2:15)

Morphing words: words whose meanings change over time. We looked at the journal Nature to learn something about change in meaning. George McNamee had an interesting blog post at the Encyclopedia Britannica blog recently on words that go away. (3:27)

Music bumper from “Court of Greedy Kings” by Val Davis (15:48)

Lost words: words that have fallen out of common use. To find a fantastic list of words nobody ever uses anymore, go to the Phrontistery website by Stephen Chrisomalis. (17:11)

Song: “Change” by Azure McCall (26:28)

Rude Word of the Week: “scurvy” (30:31)

Music bumper from “Under the Stairs” by Sonic Deviant. (33:43)

Rare words: words that are still current, but not commonly used. The Grandiloquent Dictionary has some great examples. (34:26)

Music courtesy of The Podsafe Music Network and the Ioda Promonet

Theme music by Kick the Cat

Closing theme from “Grapes” by Evan Stone

time: 39:03

size: 35.8 Mb

rating: PG (Our Rude Word segment quotes a rather scathing and rude insult from a Shakespeare play.)

The GiftAzure McCall
“Change” (mp3)
from “The Gift”
(Musefx Records)

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Say Again? (110)

Say Again? Howard Shepherd and Dave Shepherd discuss remakes, do-overs, and other kinds of re-visitation.

Thanks to Patrick M., Alan H., Leandro B., Stuart W., Dmitriy P., and Peter L. for PayPal donations. Thanks also to Tom D., Tomas A., Anne J., Steve H., and Peter H. for emails. (2:11)

The need to revisit “old” topics (3:16)

Palimpsest, adaptation, homage, interpretation (5:07)

Music bumper from “Second Life” by The Dave Stapleton Quintet (15:34)

Changing and evolving styles; the evolution of slang (17:34)

Song: “Rehash” by JLK (21:07)

Rude Word of the Week: “has-been” (24:20)

Music bumper from “Tonight” by Zach Ashton. (27:25)

Historical and cultural context (27:54)

Music courtesy of The Podsafe Music Network and the Ioda Promonet

Theme music by Kick the Cat

time: 33:41

size: 30.9

rating: PG (Explication of a possibly rude German slang word.)

The House Always WinsDave Stapleton Quintet
“Second Life” (mp3)
from “The House Always Wins”
(Edition Records)

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Nothing More Than Something To WearJLK
“Rehash” (mp3)
from “Nothing More Than Something To Wear”
(Karmic Hit)

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Irony and Satire (109)

Irony and Satire: Barbara Shepherd and Dave Shepherd try to avoid speaking sarcastically to each other as they explore irony and satire.

This week’s topic was suggested by Abbie G., a smart 9th-grader. Ironically, this show ended up being rated “R” and given an explicit tag. (Sorry, Abbie!) (2:08)

Dave and Barbara just attended the show awarding the Mark Twain Prize for American Humor, honoring the late George Carlin. Carlin was a master of American satire. This show will air on PBS on April 1, 2009. (2:40)

Comedy as a culturally-specific phenomenon; the two careers of George Carlin (7:00)

Music bumper from “Baja Taxi” by Brain Buckit (18:59)

Carlin’s famous “Seven Words You Can Never Say on Television”; Lewis Black and censorship at the Kennedy Center (21:15)

Is George Carlin the modern Mark Twain? (27:13)

Song: “Chiron Beta Prime” by Jonathan Coulton (32:18)

Rude Word of the Week: “genius” (35:07)

Music bumper from “Round One” by Evan Tate. (38:30)

Parody vs. satire: Mad Magazine, Weird Al Yankovic, and Saturday Night Live’s take on Sarah Palin (39:10)

Music courtesy of The Podsafe Music Network

Theme music by Kick the Cat

Closing theme from “Grapes” by Evan Stone

time: 48:18

size: 44.2 Mb

rating: R (It is impossible to talk about the work of George Carlin without talking about “forbidden” words–and we use a couple of really taboo words several times. Once again, apologies, Abbie!)

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jCljFYn3zTY

George Carlin and his great “Modern Man” routine
(This routine is perfectly clean and a brilliant display of American English.)

Stories and Storytelling (108)

Howard and Dave by the courthouse in JonesboroughStories and Storytelling: Howard Shepherd and Dave Shepherd are in Jonesborough, Tennessee, at the National Storytelling Festival, where they discuss stories and storytelling.

Thanks to Martin P. for a PayPal donation (1:58)

We are in Jonesborough, Tennessee, the oldest town in Tennessee, home of the International Storytelling Center and host to the National Storytelling Festival. (2:19)International Storytelling Center

Why do people tell stories? Morality tales, expressions of heritage, stories that break the ice, stories that support the ego (5:14)

Music bumper from “Edgar Meyer Winter” by Shibboleth (13:28)

Different kinds of storytelling performances that we have seen: folk music, reminiscence stories, cowboy poetry, telling traditional tales (15:20)Train tracks and story tent

Song: “The Story” by Jason Silver (22:19)

Rude Word of the Week: “turkey” (25:41)

Music bumper from “Nada” by Jaime Beauchamp. (29:36)

The future of storytelling: what will storytelling look and sound like in future generations? Benjamin Shepherd, Ruthanna Ruben, Caden Watts (30:17)Main Street, Jonesborough

Music courtesy of The Podsafe Music Network

Theme music by Kick the Cat

time: 37:35

size: 34.4 Mb

rating: G (No “adult stories” were recounted in this edition. Furthermore, kids should be told stories all the time.)

Debate (107)

Debate: Barbara Shepherd and Dave Shepherd argue back and forth and try to come to agreement about the meaning of debate.

Thanks to Alex Enkerli for an audio comment on MyChingo. (2:03)

This edition was inspired by an email from Paul Lawler (3:45)

Definitions of debate; what exactly constitutes a debate? (5:26)

Music bumper from “Arabesque” by Mauricio Cuburu (11:21)

Different types of debates for different purposes and in different forums; check out the Copley Debates website, as well as Trivium Pursuit and the Aberdeen Central High School site. We also discuss Robert’s Rules of Order.(13:26)

Song: “Support for My Argument” by Emma Wallace (25:11)

Rude Word of the Week: “filibuster” (28:55)

Music bumper from “Rebuttal” by The Working Title. (32:44)

When does an argument become a debate? A brief homage to Monty Python’s classic “Argument” sketch: “Just saying no isn’t an argument!” “Yes it is.” “No it isn’t!” (33:24)

Music courtesy of The Podsafe Music Network.

Theme music by Kick the Cat

Closing theme from “Grapes” by Evan Stone

time: 39:44

size: 36.4 Mb

rating: G (This entire discussion of debate is conducted in a civil and respectful manner.)