You're Saying It Wrong

Jordan Kirtley / KMUW

"The Warmth of the Athletic Hamster."

This is the sentence Fletcher received from Kathy and Ross. Say it aloud, and you'll probably hear epenthesis, the pronunciation of letters that are not there: "p" in warmth and hamster, perhaps an extra "a" in athletic.

This discussion prompts the trio to recall instances where they've heard others mispronounce words through epentheses: Fletcher revisits elementary school, though he won't name names; and Ross and Kathy... well, sorry, Uncle Jim.

Jordan Kirtley / KMUW

Grab some aspirin and try to wrap your head around the sloppy Venn diagram of homonyms, homophones, homographs, heteronyms, heterographs, polysemes... confused yet? So are we...

Jordan Kirtley / KMUW

Why do some words sound pleasing while others feel ugly? Listen along as Kathy, Ross, and Fletcher try to work out: Is beauty in the ear of the beholder?

Do you have a smile that gleams and glistens and glows? Does the snot in your snout make you sneeze? Was that a slimy slug that just slithered by? Wait a minute—it seems like there's something going on here...


Jordan Kirtley / KMUW

Two weeks ago, we had so much fun with French phrases, we figured, "why not do Latin?" Fletcher has some thoughts about why not to do Latin. 

Jordan Kirtley / KMUW

Is the entire French language Kathy's bête noire? Will Fletcher come up with le mot juste? Or will this whole thing just fill Ross with ennui? La partie commence!

Jordan Kirtley / KMUW

This episode brought to you by the letter "Q." Well, "Qu." Because we don't know any English words that just start with "Q."

Artists, philosophers, movers and shakers—you'd better get these names right or you might be found out as a fraud.


Jordan Kirtley / KMUW

This week we're looking at words we hear a lot, that may have some pretty hazy definitions, or may have ceased to have any meaning at all — including (appropriately) pandemic, socialist, and fascist. Also, well, Fletcher's not exactly himself this week.

Jordan Kirtley / KMUW

Prompted by a listener question, we look at words we have no business pronouncing correctly but that we do anyway. Choir, colonel, phlegm, island... where did these crazy spellings come from, anyway? Also, Ross enlightens us on the joys of, um, "borborygm."

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