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OnWords

An exploration and celebration of language and all of it's many quirks, with KMUW commentator Lael Ewy.

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  • You might be wondering why young people are calling each other a type of women’s underwear.But “brah,” is really a version of “bro,” a term with which…
  • Metaphorical language is powerful.We use it to make the unfamiliar familiar and to make us see the familiar in a different light.A reporter may speak of…
  • I was intrigued immediately by the way the people of Hong Kong describe themselves.Through all the coverage of the Umbrella Movement of 2014 to the more…
  • The word “play” comes up when accessing music, on streaming services, and, constantly, with video games.Play is pervasive: an actor plays a role; the ump…
  • When smartphones and online text editors no longer auto-corrected “gonna” and “kinda,” I knew I had to fight back.It’s not that these constructions are…
  • With the rise of esports, we see also the re-emergence of the e-prefix.Esports are, as the name implies, video games played competitively and for paying…
  • For some reason, the word “hoax” has been on my mind a lot lately.“Hoax” is a word with a storied past. Famous examples range from faux autobiographies of…
  • When you hear this, the term “OK Boomer” will probably already be fading from public view.As you may recall, the term was briefly noteworthy as a way for…
  • As an English teacher, I warn students away from Wikipedia. Yet the way it builds meanings and information collectively, from users rather than only…
  • There is nothing wrong with numbering off talking points while speaking publicly. It helps listeners keep track of what you’re saying, helping the…