iStockphoto.com

Bad Apple Proverbs: There's One In Every Bunch

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/136017612/136136934" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

If It Ain't Broke ... The word "broke" comes from an old use of the word break, meaning "impoverished," says linguist Geoff Nunberg. "It suggests an abiding association between destitution and destruction." iStockphoto.com hide caption

toggle caption
iStockphoto.com

'We're Broke': Empty Bank Accounts, Empty Meaning?

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/134820847/134820866" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

Former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin on Fox News Channel's Hannity, Jan. 17, 2011. FoxNews.com hide caption

toggle caption
FoxNews.com

How Traumatic Events Change Our View Of Language

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/133053716/133081967" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

The Year Of No: Geoff Nunberg declares "no" to be the 2010 word of the year. (In case you're curious, NPR wrote 1,640 articles featuring the word "no" in the past year.) Stephanie d'Otreppe/NPR hide caption

toggle caption
Stephanie d'Otreppe/NPR

Knowing Geoff Nunberg's 2010 Word Of The Year

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/131877150/132077440" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

English novelist Jane Austen is known for her polished prose, but her handwritten manuscripts reveal some telling grammatical errors. Hulton Archive/Getty Images hide caption

toggle caption
Hulton Archive/Getty Images

Was Jane Austen Edited? Does It Matter?

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/131335890/131384503" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

Recently, people have invoked sensitivities to oppose the building of an Islamic center near ground zero (above) and to urge Glenn Beck to move his rally at the Lincoln Memorial — which took place on the 47th anniversary of Martin Luther King Jr.'s "I Have a Dream" speech. Seth Wenig/AP Photo hide caption

toggle caption
Seth Wenig/AP Photo

Maybe We All Need Some 'Sensitivity' Training

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/129636299/129699670" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

Geoff Nunberg says that pop singers such as The Beatles and Elvis Costello may have visited wordplay from time to time -- but country music lives there. iStockphoto.com hide caption

toggle caption
iStockphoto.com

Puns In Country Music Songs Done Right

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/129625588/129626854" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

Sarah Palin's use of the nonword "refudiate" set off a storm of mockery -- and support -- among partisans. Rich Pedroncelli/AP hide caption

toggle caption
Rich Pedroncelli/AP

Refudiate? Repudiate? Let's Call The Whole Thing Off

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/128950842/128956043" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

A Twitter haiku / A tiny Internet thought / That people enjoy. iStockphoto.com hide caption

toggle caption
iStockphoto.com

Haiku Takes To Twitter, 140 Characters At A Time

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/127774103/127834132" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

I Pledge Allegiance To Linguistic Obfuscation

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/125316062/125346550" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

'Equation,' 'Gingerly' And Other Linguistic Pet Peeves

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/124001415/124003224" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

A Sensitive Subject: Harry Reid's Language On Race

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/122807092/122808305" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

Geoffrey Nunberg: 'The I's Don't Have It'

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/120496369/120498289" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

Of 'Public' Options And 'Government' Plans

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/111774394/111775156" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript