That's What They Say http://michiganradio.org en Old vocabulary “segueing” into new vocabulary http://michiganradio.org/post/old-vocabulary-segueing-new-vocabulary <p></p><p>Segues are unrelated to segments, although the two words sound similar and are both about parts.</p><p>On this week’s edition of <em>That’s What They Sa</em>y, host Rina Miller and University of Michigan English Professor <a href="http://www-personal.umich.edu/~acurzan/">Anne Curzan </a>look into the etymology of <em>segue</em>.</p><p>Curzan first explored the origins of the word&nbsp;<em>segment</em>. In the late 16<sup>th</sup> century, <em>segment</em> comes into English from Latin, meaning “a piece that’s cut or broken off” or “a part of a circle.” Centuries later, <em>segment </em>also becomes a verb, meaning, “to divide into segments.”</p><p>The term segue, however, is completely unrelated to the term&nbsp;<em>segment</em>. Rather than Latin, <em>segue</em> finds its way into English through Italian as a musical term.</p><p>“Segue first shows up in English in 1740,” Curzan describes. “But for almost 200 years, it’s used primarily as an Italian term, to refer to proceeding from one movement to another in a musical piece without a break.” &nbsp;</p><p> Sun, 13 Apr 2014 12:05:00 +0000 Michigan Radio Newsroom 17161 at http://michiganradio.org Old vocabulary “segueing” into new vocabulary The etymology of "party pooper" http://michiganradio.org/post/etymology-party-pooper <p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">&nbsp;&nbsp;</span>&nbsp;&nbsp;</p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">The word "party pooper" is clearly slangy, but maybe it's also a little bit taboo.</span></p><p><br />This week on <em>That’s What They Say</em> host Rina Miller and University of Michigan English Professor <a href="http://www-personal.umich.edu/~acurzan/">Anne Curzan </a>look at the origins of the term <em>party pooper. </em></p><p><em>Party pooper</em> has been in our lexicon for decades. The expression first shows up in the late 1940s among college students. A few years later, an article in <em>Newsweek</em> acknowledged the popularity of the term, stating, “Party pooper has taken the place of wall flower or wet blanket.”</p><p>Despite the prevalence of the term, the origins are still unknown. Curzan explains three possible etymologies.</p><p>“One possibility is that the <em>poop</em> in <em>party pooper</em> comes from the verb ‘to poop,’ meaning ‘to tire’ or ‘to exhaust,’” Curzan cites. “This is where we get the expression ‘I’m pooped’ as in ‘I’m tired.’”</p><p> Sun, 06 Apr 2014 12:05:00 +0000 Clare Toeniskoetter 16896 at http://michiganradio.org The etymology of "party pooper" The vocabulary of yoopers, trolls and fudgies http://michiganradio.org/post/vocabulary-yoopers-trolls-and-fudgies <p></p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">&nbsp;&nbsp;</span>&nbsp;&nbsp;</p><p>If you know where the "yoopers" and the "trolls" live, there’s a very good chance that you’re from Michigan.</p><p>On this week’s edition of&nbsp;<em>That’s What They Say,&nbsp;</em>host Rina Miller and University of Michigan English Professor <a href="http://www-personal.umich.edu/~acurzan/">Anne Curzan</a> discuss some vocabulary that is unique to the state of Michigan.</p><p>Since its recent addition to the Merriam Webster Collegiate Dictionary, <em>yooper</em>, a term referring to people from Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, has gotten a lot of attention. However,&nbsp;there are plenty of other fun Michigan words that are not making headlines.</p><p>While <em>yooper </em>refers to residents of the Upper Peninsula, those that live south of the Mackinac Bridge may be lightheartedly referred to as <em>trolls </em>since they are “under the bridge.”</p><p> Sun, 30 Mar 2014 12:05:00 +0000 Michigan Radio Newsroom 17017 at http://michiganradio.org The vocabulary of yoopers, trolls and fudgies When proverbial phrases aren’t from proverbs http://michiganradio.org/post/when-proverbial-phrases-aren-t-proverbs <p></p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">There are not enough proverbs in the world for everything that is proverbial.</span></p><p>On this week’s edition of <em>That’s What They Say, </em>host Rina Miller and University of Michigan Professor of English <a href="http://www-personal.umich.edu/~acurzan/">Anne Curzan</a>&nbsp;examine the overuse of the word <em>proverbial</em>.</p><p>The term <em>proverbial </em>first appears in the English language in 1475. At this time, a proverbial saying is a proverb itself. However, by the late 16<sup>th</sup> century, <em>proverbial </em>is used to describe sayings that are well-known, or merely similar to proverbs.</p><p>Nowadays, this usage continues. Curzan looked in the <a href="http://corpus.byu.edu/coca/">Corpus of Contemporary American English</a>&nbsp;to find some examples.</p><p> Sun, 23 Mar 2014 12:05:00 +0000 Michigan Radio Newsroom 16894 at http://michiganradio.org When proverbial phrases aren’t from proverbs You’re 'in-' for some confusion with prefixes http://michiganradio.org/post/you-re-some-confusion-prefixes <p>If something is inflammable, it is no longer entirely clear whether we can set it on fire, or we can’t.</p><p>On this week’s edition of <em>That’s What They Say</em>, host Rina Miller and University of Michigan English Professor <a href="http://www-personal.umich.edu/~acurzan/">Anne Curzan</a> take on the prefix “in-.”</p><p>There are two types of “in-” prefixes, and although they sound the same, they have different meanings. The first “in-” means “in or into,” like the examples <em>income</em> and <em>inland</em>. The second “in-” means “not,” as in the words <em>inedible </em>or <em>incomprehensible. </em></p><p>The term <em>inflammable</em> uses the “in or into” meaning of the prefix. Consequently, something that is <em>inflammable </em>can be put into flame.</p><p>However, the prefix has caused some confusion.</p><p> Sun, 16 Mar 2014 13:05:00 +0000 Rina Miller & Anne Curzan 16821 at http://michiganradio.org You’re 'in-' for some confusion with prefixes What o'clock is it? http://michiganradio.org/post/what-oclock-it <p></p><p>The contraction of the word “of” to o’ is considered highly informal, but the phrase “o’clock” is somehow different.&nbsp;</p><p>This week on&nbsp;<em>That’s What They Say</em>, host Rina Miller and University of Michigan English Professor&nbsp;<a href="http://www-personal.umich.edu/~acurzan/">Anne Curzan</a>&nbsp;discuss how we talk about time.</p><p>The expression “o’clock” comes from “of clock” as in “according to the clock,” says Curzan.</p><p>It might seem like an antiquated phrase, but "o'clock" is still used quite a lot. &nbsp;But, there is something else on the rise and that is the use of a.m. and p.m.</p><p> Sun, 09 Mar 2014 12:46:00 +0000 Michigan Radio Newsroom 16768 at http://michiganradio.org What o'clock is it? The audaciousness of tricky word endings http://michiganradio.org/post/audaciousness-tricky-word-endings <p>If a "preventive" measure is the same thing as a "preventative" measure, it seems hard to justify having both words.</p><p>This week on <em>That’s What They Say</em>, host Rina Miller and University of Michigan English Professor <a href="http://www-personal.umich.edu/~acurzan/">Anne Curzan</a> discuss words with multiple endings.</p><p>In this case of <em>preventive</em> and <em>preventative</em>, <em>preventive</em> is used more often. &nbsp;So is the shorter ending always more common?</p><p>“If we look at the ‘ive’ ending as in <em>preventive,</em> versus the ‘ative’ ending as in <em>preventative</em>, it’s not always the case that the shorter one wins,” Curzan argues. &nbsp;</p><p>When looking at the terms <em>exploitative</em> and <em>exploitive</em>, Curzan found that the “ative” ending is four times more common than the “ive” ending. &nbsp;Nevertheless, both of these terms are in dictionaries, making either usage correct. Sun, 02 Mar 2014 14:05:00 +0000 Michigan Radio Newsroom 16616 at http://michiganradio.org The audaciousness of tricky word endings None of our English grammar rules ‘is’ hard… or ‘are’ they? http://michiganradio.org/post/none-our-english-grammar-rules-hard-or-are-they <p></p><p dir="ltr" style="line-height:1.5909091342579236;margin-top:0pt;margin-bottom:0pt;"><span id="docs-internal-guid-0e2108c5-2230-9210-36cd-5b08a4af2dd4"><span style="font-size: 15px; font-family: Georgia; background-color: transparent; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;">It seems like it should be straightforward to figure out if the subject of your sentence is singular or plural, but sometimes it’s just not.</span></span></p><p></p><p><span style="background-color: transparent; font-size: 15px; font-family: Georgia; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;">On this week’s edition of That’s What They Say, University of Michigan English Professor </span><a href="http://www-personal.umich.edu/~acurzan/" style="line-height: 1.5909091342579236;"><span style="font-size: 15px; font-family: Georgia; background-color: transparent; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;">Anne Curzan</span></a><span style="background-color: transparent; font-size: 15px; font-family: Georgia; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;"> joins Weekend Edition Host Rina Miller to discuss subject-verb agreement issues. </span></p><p><span style="background-color: transparent; font-size: 15px; font-family: Georgia; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;">If the subject of a sentence is </span><span style="background-color: transparent; font-size: 15px; font-family: Georgia; font-style: italic; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;"><em>you</em> or someone you know</span><span style="background-color: transparent; font-size: 15px; font-family: Georgia; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;">, the corresponding verb is sometimes singular and sometimes plural. Which is correct?</span></p><p><span style="background-color: transparent; font-size: 15px; font-family: Georgia; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;">The appropriate verb may depend on the sentence’s meaning. If the subject implies either you </span><span style="background-color: transparent; font-size: 15px; font-family: Georgia; font-style: italic; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;">or</span><span style="background-color: transparent; font-size: 15px; font-family: Georgia; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;"> someone you know, but </span><span style="background-color: transparent; font-size: 15px; font-family: Georgia; font-style: italic; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;">not </span><span style="background-color: transparent; font-size: 15px; font-family: Georgia; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;">both, the verb should be singular. If the subject may refer to both you </span><span style="background-color: transparent; font-size: 15px; font-family: Georgia; font-style: italic; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;">and</span><span style="background-color: transparent; font-size: 15px; font-family: Georgia; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;"> someone you know, a plural verb is acceptable. </span><img height="11px;" src="https://lh4.googleusercontent.com/M6e7fNF7WzAMXthHw9K2ec15__wzR7c9QNg5nw4mwBwtPJ-Y0vUfwrzhwKrPoGaHgBQRv0xahiaU7fNf4Hekqt8vJA7c42A94HhE8CuBx2co8GYN9gx8xRmpLA" style="line-height: 1.5909091342579236; border: 0px solid transparent;" width="624px;" /></p><p><span style="background-color: transparent; font-family: Georgia; font-size: 15px; white-space: pre-wrap; line-height: 1.5909091342579236;">“It gets a little more complicated if one of those nouns is singular and one of them is plural,” </span>Curzan<span style="background-color: transparent; font-family: Georgia; font-size: 15px; white-space: pre-wrap; line-height: 1.5909091342579236;"> warns. “Then you employ the proximity rule.”</span></p><p> Sun, 23 Feb 2014 13:05:00 +0000 Michigan Radio Newsroom 16398 at http://michiganradio.org None of our English grammar rules ‘is’ hard… or ‘are’ they? Eggcorns: When wrong becomes right http://michiganradio.org/post/eggcorns-when-wrong-becomes-right <p></p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">The expression&nbsp;</span><em style="line-height: 1.5;">for all intents and purposes</em><span style="line-height: 1.5;">&nbsp;has become, for some folks, an expression about purposes that are <em>intensive</em>.</span></p><p>On this week’s edition of&nbsp;<em>That’s What They Say,&nbsp;</em>University of Michigan English Professor <a href="http://www-personal.umich.edu/~acurzan/">Anne Curzan</a>&nbsp;and Host Rina Miller discuss eggcorns, or new expressions developed when the original sayings are misheard or misinterpreted.</p><p>Linguists at the <a href="http://languagelog.ldc.upenn.edu/nll/">Language Log</a> coined the term eggcorn to describe these modified phrases in 2003.</p><p>“The term <em>eggcorn</em> comes from the reshaping of the word <em>acorn</em>,” Curzan explains. “When people hear&nbsp;<em>acorn</em>, some people reinterpret it as&nbsp;<em>eggcorn</em>&nbsp;because it’s kind of shaped like an egg and it has a seed.”</p><p> Sun, 16 Feb 2014 13:05:00 +0000 Michigan Radio Newsroom 16390 at http://michiganradio.org Eggcorns: When wrong becomes right Fun words for 2014 Winter Olympics http://michiganradio.org/post/fun-words-2014-winter-olympics <div><p>The acronym YOLO has gotten a new lease on life with the "YOLO flip."</p><p>This week on&nbsp;<em>That’s What They Say</em>, Host Rina Miller and University of Michigan English Professor <a href="http://www-personal.umich.edu/~acurzan/">Anne Curzan</a>&nbsp;reveal words to know for the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics. &nbsp;&nbsp;</p></div><p>YOLO, an acronym that means “you only live once,” was popularized in 2011. Now the acronym has taken on a new meaning with the YOLO flip, a snowboarding term for the “cab double cork 1440.”</p><p>Swiss snowboarder&nbsp;Iouri&nbsp;Podladtchikov, also known as I-Pod, named the move after landing it at the 2013 X-Games.</p><p> Sun, 09 Feb 2014 13:05:00 +0000 Michigan Radio Newsroom 16318 at http://michiganradio.org Fun words for 2014 Winter Olympics Wacky weather words http://michiganradio.org/post/wacky-weather-words <p>Maybe polar vortex has not been a welcome addition to all of our vocabularies, but there are some other great weather words out there.</p><p>In this week’s edition of <em>That’s What They Say</em>, Host Rina Miller and University of Michigan English Professor <a href="http://www-personal.umich.edu/~acurzan/">Anne Curzan </a>discuss regional words to describe the weather.</p><p>Depending on where we live, we use different names for a "light snow." According to the <a href="http://www.daredictionary.com/">Dictionary of American Regional English</a>, some speakers call this a <em>skiff</em> or a <em>skift</em>. However, in the Midwest and on the East Coast, people are more likely to use the terms <em>dusting </em>or <em>flurry</em>.</p><p> Sun, 02 Feb 2014 13:05:00 +0000 Michigan Radio Newsroom 16230 at http://michiganradio.org Wacky weather words The ‘that,’ ‘who,’ ‘which’ dilemma http://michiganradio.org/post/who-which-dilemma <p>The pronoun <em>who</em> is for people and the pronoun <em>that</em> is for things, except when it’s the other way around.</p><p>On this week’s edition of <em>That’s What They Say, </em>Host Rina Miller and University of Michigan English Professor Anne Curzan discuss the confusing usage of <em>who, that, </em>and <em>which. </em></p><p>Students are often taught <em>that </em>is for inanimate objects while <em>who</em> is for people. However, standard grammar books allow some variation on this rule.</p><p>In fact, the word <em>that </em>has referred to people for hundreds of years.</p><p>“You can go back to early translations of the Lord’s Prayer” Cruzan describes. “You will get ‘Our father, thou that art in heaven.” In this example, <em>that </em>refers to a person. Sun, 26 Jan 2014 13:05:00 +0000 Michigan Radio Newsroom 16036 at http://michiganradio.org The ‘that,’ ‘who,’ ‘which’ dilemma Homing in on ‘comprise’ http://michiganradio.org/post/homing-comprise <p>If the whole comprises the parts, it seems like the parts should not be able to comprise the whole.</p><p>This week on <em>That’s What They Say, </em>Host Rina Miller and University of Michigan English Professor Anne Curzan take on the verb <em>comprise </em>used to mean <em>compose. </em></p><p>In the 15<sup>th</sup> century, <em>comprise</em> meant “to seize” or “to comprehend.” From there, <em>comprise </em>took on the definition “to include.” With this meaning, a big part comprises smaller parts.</p><p>However, by the 18<sup>th</sup> century, <em>comprise</em> also meant <em>compose</em>, allowing small things to comprise a larger thing. Ever since this change, the two words have often been used interchangeably. Sun, 19 Jan 2014 13:05:00 +0000 Michigan Radio Newsroom 16034 at http://michiganradio.org Homing in on ‘comprise’ When proper names become everyday words http://michiganradio.org/post/when-proper-names-become-everyday-words <p></p><p>People’s names show up in the English language in surprising places, such as "pasteurized milk" and "ham sandwiches."</p><p>University of Michigan Professor of English Anne Curzan and Weekend Edition host Rina Miller discuss eponyms, or words that are derived from proper names, on this week’s edition of <em>That’s What They Say. </em></p><p>The verb <em>pasteurized</em> is an eponym. It comes into the English language in 1881 from the name Louis Pasteur, who invented the pasteurization process.</p><p><em>Sandwich</em> is also an eponym.</p><p>“We think that the word comes from John Montagu, the 4<sup>th</sup> Earl of Sandwich.&nbsp;<span style="line-height: 1.5;">He was a gambler, and once he spent 24 hours at the table gambling, and all he had to eat was meat between two slices of bread,"</span><span style="line-height: 1.5;">&nbsp;</span><span style="line-height: 1.5;">Curzan</span><span style="line-height: 1.5;">&nbsp;explains. &nbsp;</span><span style="line-height: 1.5;">Thus, the sandwich was named after him. &nbsp;</span></p><p>The adjective <em>ritzy </em>is yet another eponym. Unrelated to the crackers, <em>ritzy </em>came from hotels.</p><p> Sun, 12 Jan 2014 13:05:00 +0000 Michigan Radio Newsroom 15765 at http://michiganradio.org When proper names become everyday words 'Because' is the 2013 Word of the Year http://michiganradio.org/post/because-2013-word-year <p></p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">Writers online, and now speakers in informal speech, are using "</span><em style="line-height: 1.5;">because"</em><span style="line-height: 1.5;">&nbsp;in innovative ways.</span></p><p><span style="color: rgb(51, 51, 51); font-family: Georgia, Times, serif; font-size: 15px; line-height: 22px;">This week on&nbsp;</span><em style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-size: 15px; vertical-align: baseline; color: rgb(51, 51, 51); font-family: Georgia, Times, serif; line-height: 22px;">That’s What They Say, </em><em style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-size: 15px; vertical-align: baseline; color: rgb(51, 51, 51); font-family: Georgia, Times, serif; line-height: 22px;">h</em><span style="color: rgb(51, 51, 51); font-family: Georgia, Times, serif; font-size: 15px; line-height: 22px;">ost Rina Miller and University of Michigan English Professor Anne Curzan&nbsp;talk about the American Dialect Society's 24th&nbsp;Annual Words of the Year vote.&nbsp;</span></p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">Curzan says, “It used to be that </span><em style="line-height: 1.5;">because</em><span style="line-height: 1.5;"> had to be followed by a clause. So, I would say, ‘I don’t want to go outside </span><em style="line-height: 1.5;">because</em><span style="line-height: 1.5;"> it’s really cold.’ And now I can say, ‘I don’t want go outside </span><em style="line-height: 1.5;">because</em><span style="line-height: 1.5;">&nbsp; cold.’”</span></p><p>More words of the year include:&nbsp;<em>selfie</em>, <em>Obamacare</em>, and <em>slash</em>.</p><p>Click <a href="http://www.americandialect.org/because-is-the-2013-word-of-the-year">here </a>for more on the Word of the Year for 2013.</p><p> Mon, 06 Jan 2014 17:10:11 +0000 Mercedes Mejia 15892 at http://michiganradio.org 'Because' is the 2013 Word of the Year Explaining the ‘flap’ in homophones http://michiganradio.org/post/explaining-flap-homophones <p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">We may think there is a “t” sound in the word </span><em style="line-height: 1.5;">hearty</em><span style="line-height: 1.5;">, as in </span><em style="line-height: 1.5;">hearty welcome</em><span style="line-height: 1.5;">, but in fact, for most of us, there isn’t.</span></p><p>On this week’s edition of <em>That’s What They Say, </em>Host Rina Miller and University of Michigan English Professor Anne Curzan discuss some surprising homophones, or words that sound the same but are spelled differently.</p><p>The expression <em>party hearty</em> originally had a “t,” but it also became understood as <em>party hardy</em>. Nowadays, both words can be used.</p><p>“One of the issues is that <em>hearty</em> with a “t” and <em>hardy</em> with a “d” sure sound a lot alike when you say them,” Curzan describes. But why do these words sound similar?</p><p>These words are homophones because of the alveolar flap, a sound made when a tongue hits the alveolar ridge.</p><p>“The alveolar ridge is the ridge behind your top teeth,” Curzan explains. “When you make the sound ‘tuh’ or ‘duh,’ your tongue hits that ridge.”</p><p> Sun, 22 Dec 2013 13:05:00 +0000 Michigan Radio Newsroom 15764 at http://michiganradio.org Explaining the ‘flap’ in homophones Auto-antonyms: Words that mean their opposite http://michiganradio.org/post/auto-antonyms-words-mean-their-opposite <p></p><p>It seems hard to believe that we as speakers can tolerate a word meaning two opposite things at the same time.</p><p>Host Rina Miller and University of Michigan English Professor Anne Curzan reveal some auto-antonyms, or words that mean their opposites, on this week’s edition of <em>That’s What They Say. </em></p><p>Curzan begins with an example that Jesse Sheidlower, the North American Editor of the Oxford English Dictionary, shared with her.</p><p>In the sentence, “Mary and her partner had just moved in upstairs, and their boxes lay on the kitchen floor still unpacked,” <em>unpacked</em> is an auto-antonym. It should mean there’s nothing in the boxes, but it actually means the boxes are full. &nbsp;</p><p>“For many of us, in that sentence <em>unpacked</em> means un-<em>unpacked</em>,” Curzan explains. &nbsp;</p><p>The list of auto-antonyms continues. The verb <em>dust</em> can mean “to put dust or sugar on” or “to take dust off.” Similarly, the verb <em>sanction </em>can mean “to permit or to allow with legal authority” or “to impose a penalty on,” which suggests not permitting.</p><p> Sun, 15 Dec 2013 13:51:00 +0000 Michigan Radio Newsroom 15563 at http://michiganradio.org Auto-antonyms: Words that mean their opposite How to pronounce words ending in '-ed' http://michiganradio.org/post/how-pronounce-words-ending-ed <p></p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">Most of the time the final </span><em style="line-height: 1.5;">-ed</em><span style="line-height: 1.5;">&nbsp;on words is not pronounced as its own syllable, but then every once in a while, it is.</span></p><p>This week on <em>That’s What They Say,&nbsp;</em>Host Rina Miller and University of Michigan English Professor Anne Curzan discuss tricky&nbsp;<em>-ed&nbsp;</em>endings and the history of this suffix’s pronunciation.</p><p>Historically, <em style="line-height: 1.5;">-ed</em><span style="line-height: 1.5;">&nbsp;was always pronounced as its own syllable. In the </span>18<sup>th</sup><span style="line-height: 1.5;"> century, Jonathan Swift voiced his desire to preserve the final&nbsp;</span><em>-ed&nbsp;</em><span style="line-height: 1.5;">&nbsp;in his book, </span><em style="line-height: 1.5;">A Proposal for Correcting, Improving and Ascertaining the English Tongue. </em><span style="line-height: 1.5;">Swift wrote, “By leaving our a vowel to save a syllable, we form so jarring a sound, and so difficult to utter, that I have often wondered how it could ever obtain.”</span></p><p>Nowadays, we rarely pronounce&nbsp;<em>-ed&nbsp;</em>&nbsp;separately. But what about problematic words that can be pronounced either way, like <em>beloved</em>?</p><p>“Usually when it is an adjective, you would say it as two syllables,” Curzan explains regarding <em>beloved</em>. “But if it’s a noun, you would say <em>belov-ed</em> and pronounce it as its own syllable.”</p><p> Sun, 08 Dec 2013 13:50:00 +0000 Michigan Radio Newsroom 15564 at http://michiganradio.org How to pronounce words ending in '-ed' Nowadays you can parse all kinds of things http://michiganradio.org/post/nowadays-you-can-parse-all-kinds-things <p></p><p>Parsing used to be restricted to sentences, but now we can parse all kinds of things.</p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">This week on </span><em style="line-height: 1.5;">That’s What They Say, </em><span style="line-height: 1.5;">host </span>Rina<span style="line-height: 1.5;"> Miller and University of Michigan English Professor Anne </span>Curzan<span style="line-height: 1.5;"> talk about the verbs </span><em style="line-height: 1.5;">to parse </em><span style="line-height: 1.5;">and </span><em style="line-height: 1.5;">to vet.</em></p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">Parsing originally came from the Latin noun </span><em style="line-height: 1.5;">pars, </em><span style="line-height: 1.5;">meaning “parts” &nbsp;as in “parts of speech.” When </span><em style="line-height: 1.5;">parse </em><span style="line-height: 1.5;">appeared in the English language in the </span>16th<span style="line-height: 1.5;"> century, it referred to analyzing a sentence syntactically by breaking the phrase down to its parts of speech.</span></p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">However, by the </span>18th<span style="line-height: 1.5;"> century, </span><em style="line-height: 1.5;">parse </em><span style="line-height: 1.5;">came to mean “examining something closely by breaking it into component parts,” or even “to understand.” Now,&nbsp;</span><em style="line-height: 1.5;">parse </em><span style="line-height: 1.5;">has yet another definition to computer programmers, meaning “examining strings.”</span></p><p> Sat, 30 Nov 2013 13:05:00 +0000 Michigan Radio Newsroom 15458 at http://michiganradio.org Nowadays you can parse all kinds of things Because language change http://michiganradio.org/post/because-language-change <p></p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">“</span>Because language change.<span style="line-height: 1.5;">”&nbsp;</span><span style="line-height: 1.5;">Is this a sentence?&nbsp;</span></p><p>On this week’s edition of <em>That’s What They Say, </em>host Rina Miller and University of Michigan English Professor Anne Curzan discuss the changing use of <em>because</em> and <em>slash</em>.</p><p>On Tuesday, an <a href="http://www.theatlantic.com/technology/archive/2013/11/english-has-a-new-preposition-because-internet/281601/">article</a>&nbsp; in <em>The Atlantic </em>by Megan Garber brought attention to a new usage of <em>because</em>. <em>Because</em> can now be followed by a noun, adjective or gerund like in the phrase, “Because Internet.” &nbsp;</p><p>“Because is traditionally a subordinating conjunction, so it requires a clause after it, as in, ‘I’m late because I was watching videos on YouTube,’” Curzan describes. “Or it can be a compound preposition, like, ‘I’m late because of the traffic.’” &nbsp;</p><p>Today, thanks to the evolution of language on the Internet, people are writing and saying phrases like: “I’m late because YouTube,” “I’m not going out because tired,” or “I’m late because running.”</p><p> Sun, 24 Nov 2013 13:05:00 +0000 Michigan Radio Newsroom 15384 at http://michiganradio.org Because language change