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 Public 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 Public All Things Considered 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 Public 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 Public All Things Considered 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

TWTS: Whether "or not" belongs in "whether or not" or not

We don't all agree on whether or not we should correct the phrasing "whether or not."

TWTS: Going forth and back on "back and forth"

We can talk about sending emails back and forth. But why does it sound odd to talk about sending them forth and back?

TWTS: You can tuna fish, but you may not need the "fish"

Given that "tuna" is a fish, some may find it unnecessary to call out that fact out in the compound "tuna fish." For others, "fish" may be an important distinction.

TWTS: Prone to be prone

You can be prone to do something, whether you're lying down or not.

TWTS: Attend as many "trainings" as you like

There's evidence of a new peeve arising. This one is focused on "training" as a countable noun.

TWTS: An oft overlooked double possessive

Lots of people don't like the redundancy in "irregardless." However, no one's fussy about the redundancy in a phrase like "a friend of mine."

TWTS: An ouster for the ouster

An ouster can be an act of ousting, or it can be the one who does the ousting. But we seem to have opted for one of those meanings over the other.

TWTS: Need something? Manifest it

At this point, we can manifest our dream future, a good grade on a exam, or even a parking spot.

TWTS: "Curry favor" comes from a horse (of course, of course)

Currying favor has everything to do with flattery and horses, and nothing to do with food.

TWTS: Known liars better hope their pants never literally catch fire

There's a children's rhyme that involves liars and pants on fire and various types of wires. Now, we can say things are "pants on fire" false.