That's What They Say Funner, snuck, and LOL are all things that we're hearing people say these days.That's What They Say is a weekly segment on Michigan Radio that explores our changing language.University of Michigan English Professor Anne Curzan studies linguistics and the history of the English language. Each week she'll discuss why we say what we say with Michigan Radio Weekend Edition host Rebecca Kruth.That's What They Say airs Sundays at 9:35 a.m. on Michigan Radio and you can podcast it here.
That's What They Say

That's What They Say

From Michigan Radio

Funner, snuck, and LOL are all things that we're hearing people say these days.That's What They Say is a weekly segment on Michigan Radio that explores our changing language.University of Michigan English Professor Anne Curzan studies linguistics and the history of the English language. Each week she'll discuss why we say what we say with Michigan Radio Weekend Edition host Rebecca Kruth.That's What They Say airs Sundays at 9:35 a.m. on Michigan Radio and you can podcast it here.

Most Recent Episodes

Infeasible or unfeasible? Just pick the one you like

Do we really need both "infeasible" and "unfeasible?" It's feasible to argue that we don't.

TWTS: Staving off questions about "staffs" and "staves"

If you have one staff, as in a stick, and then you add another staff, you now run into the question of whether you have two staffs or two staves.

TWTS: Prior to adding "to," no one cares about "previous" and "prior"

The words "previous" and "prior" are synonyms and don't get much attention from language commentators.

TWTS: Prior to adding "to," no one cares about "previous" and "prior"

TWTS: All available uses of "avail"

We do things more often "to no avail" than "of no avail."

TWTS: Shining a light on the past tense of "shine"

If you shine your shoes today, tomorrow you'll be able to say you shined your shoes.

TWTS: When it comes to "lie" and "lay," even English professors get confused

Even for speakers who feel solid about the distinction between "lie" and "lay," they may lose that distinction when "low" is added to the mix.

TWTS: When it comes to "lie" and "lay," even English professors get confused

TWTS: Can't take our eyes off "off of"

The 1967 song "Can't Take My Eyes Off You" was one of Frankie Valli's biggest hits.

TWTS: Wet your whistle, not your appetite

When we wet our whistle at a bar, we have a "wh" in whistle but not in "wet."

TWTS: The not-so prominent differences between "eminent" and "preeminent"

An eminent person can also be a prominent person. That same person can also be preeminent in their field.

TWTS: The not-so prominent differences between "eminent" and "preeminent"

TWTS: Sometimes you've just got to say "have got to"

This week, we have got to address a question a listener recently sent us about whether there's anything wrong with saying "have got to" instead of just "have to."