Extreme Vocabulary

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Word recommender and guest host, Renee joins Extreme Vocabulary this week for a discussion on one of the deadliest words we've ever featured. Tracing this word's histories back to the time of the Reformation, we learn about how people used DEFENESTRATION as a particularly effective way to remove a religious authority from power? Is there a way to DEFENESTRATE things in our own time? Efren brings us a meditation on today's word from Elijah Matthew Tubbs, author of In Through a Door, out a Window, and we all contemplate the many reasons we might find ourselves flying out a window. So, come to our window and join us for another great episode of EXTREME VOCABULARY.
NNEEERRRRDDDSSS!!! In this episode of Extreme Vocabulary we nerd out on the word NERD. Who or what is a nerd? Is it now cool to be a nerd? And what credentials can you show to prove your nerdhood? Listen in as Efren challenges our nerdhood by siding with Pokémon the Trading Card Game, while Josh sides with Pokémon GO, and Abe stays conservative with the main series Pokémon games. But aren't nerds really just social conformists intent on ruling the world? And aren't they the jerkiest gate keepers of their sphere of influence? Or are they genuine social outcasts, like the main character in Junot Diaz's novel The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao? Stay tuned as our inner nerd takes over this episode!!!
Join us for our Extreme Vocabulary inaugural episode as Abe and Aaron problematize today's word. Efren drops by to discuss a passage from Oscar Zeta Acosta's The Revolt of the Cockroach People with Josh. John Lennon once sang There are no problems, only solutions, but what if just the opposite is true? Tune in to find out.
Oh snap! Is that the sound of a new podcast, or the explosion of ideas on this month's episode? Join Abe and Aaron who bring the bang for your buck, while Efren shares another work of literature with Josh. It's all yours and just a clickity-clack away.
Today's episode is the first of a two part discussion on the opposing terms CAPITAL and COMMUNE, roots of the words capitalism and communism. And you bet that our discussion will rattle your head as we take on the debate between capital and commune! Abraham looks at the many definitions of capital from head, to pillar, to manuscripts, to economic value. Meanwhile, Efren brings us poem by Joshua Clover. Who will win the debate between capital and commune? It depends. What do you value, dear listener?
Driving is pretty prevalent in our society, but the word itself is older than the Model T. Join us on a journey of discovery as we talk about what humans used to drive as well as what drives humans (you know, like sex and death and stuff). Efren brings a piece of literature from Sandra Cisneros that you may have read very well, and we choose the song of the day. Will we steer you to new understanding, or will we drive you mad? It's worth the price of admission, so join us again on EXTREME VOCABULARY.
This is no act of deceit or treachery, this is a real episode of Extreme Vocabulary, where we define one of the least rooted words we've ever had. Join us to learn the tale of how a Scottish word came to be used to describe a sex crime in old catholic documents, only to be later used to describe financial crimes in our own century. Then join us for one two many impressions, a poem by Vachel Lindsay, and our most musical moment ever.
Oh, yeah... this again. So, Extreme Vocabulary does everything it can to stay, well, extreme, but sometimes they can't keep up that energy level. I'm not saying this episode is BORING, far from it. Abe tells Aaron about the Germanic origins of this week's word, deconstructs its usage among children, and even talks about watching ants crawl on his arm. Then Efren comes by with a bundle of joy from Raymond Carver's short story, FEATHERS But there's something (yawn) about this episode, that just... huh? Wait, what was I saying? Oh yeah! It's Extreme Vocabulary!
What if I told you that miracles happen everyday? What if Abe also told you that's really not a big deal because the etymology of the word reveals that miracles aren't about anything unusual anyways? In today's episode, we venture into discussions of consciousness, the Christmas story, and the power of movies. Efren brings a piece of literature from Jorge Luis Borges, and Aaron does the hosting. This was a liveshow so thanks go out to anybody who joined us on our Zoom call, especially Hugo, who helped us choose the song. Were the times good? Well, they were a miracle.
Join us on our new time and location (the first Tuesday of the month) for our final EDICT. But just what is an edict, you may ask? As it turns out, some of us are learning for the first time as well. Be a part of the learning experience as Abe takes us from this declarative's latin roots through its history with the Catholic church and beyond. After all, even Buddhists can make edicts apparently. As usual, Efren provides the literary reference, this time a poem from Raymond McDaniel's Assault to Abjury. Josh and Aaron round out the cast, as usual. And so I declare that thou shalt be entertained, this month on EXTREME VOCABULARY!
Pssst! This month's word is a secret! However, despite our best efforts to keep it under wraps, rumors of it have been circulating, creating a culture of discourse that imagines everything you know to be false. At least there is one thing we all know to be true: Extreme Vocabulary rules!
Extreme Vocabulary is not your typical word-of-the-day podcast. On Extreme Vocabulary, we hide behind our VEIL of secrecy. But just what are we hiding? And from whom are we hiding? Death, sex, marriage, religion, and more get teased through the mesh of our conversation but, one thing we don’t hide is our piece of literature, which Efren, as usual, brings. Today he brings a poem by Dennis Johnson, appropriately named VEIL. What will you see when you pierce this episode? The priest is waiting for your answer, and the flashbulbs are going off on today’s EXTREME VOCABULARY.
Hear ye! Hear ye! All Yankee dudes and dudettes! Our Lord, Jeffrey Lebowski, and our sacred religion of Dudeism, demands that at your leisure (and only really of you have time, if not, whatevers, don't worry about it, everything's cool) you listen to Extreme Vocabulary as the team discusses the American origin of the word DUDE. They ask, who is a dude? Who is the Dude? Can women be dudes or should we call them dudettes? Is dude an insult, compliment, or like whatever? And is dude East coast or So Cal West coast? Efren dude brings David Foster Wallace's INFINITE JEST, Abe dude brings the research, and all the other dudes just like hang around and do stuff. So, listen to our podcast or like whatever man! One day Josh crossed a bridge *watched a YouTube video* and decided to look under it *read the comments section*, and there he discovered an ugly troll *an insulting ranter*. The troll threatened to eat him *engage him in a verbal rant about nothing*, but Josh was clever *trollish* and killed the troll with a kick *ignored him completely*. And Josh lived happily ever after *continued reading the comments section*.
I hope you don't mind if we accost your ears for another episode of Extreme Vocabulary. We promise to return them to you unmolested and in the meantime, you'll learn about the history of this month's arresting word. Abe drops knowledge about Juno Diaz, Efren brings a piece of literature by Richard Wright, Aaron is his normal brilliant self, and Josh seems, well, a little confused. But don't worry, you'll get your ears right back and hopefully with something new in-between on this episode of EXTREME VOCABULARY.
Cowabunga! We're here to PARTY and do our best to explore the mystery of words. Today's word has lots of definitions and tons of applications. So whether you are a member of a party, at a party, interested in hunting, or a just person who just likes, you may have enjoyed using today's very fun word. Efren is here once again with some poetry by William E. Stafford, and we answer emails. Don't worry if you didn't bring any snacks, we got everything you need on EXTREME VOCABULARY.
For our second year as a podcast, we thought we would try something a little different. Now, we're all involved in the conversation from front to back, except... Abe wasn't able to make this recording in person. Hopefully, you can feel his spirit, though as we discuss today's dizzying word, VERTIGO. Aaron does the research, Efren brings a piece of literature from Jorge Luis Borges.
By now, you can probably see where this is going. By analyzing the origins of today's word, we uncover some ancient associations with it that exist to this day in some magical way. Yeah, we've been doing this for a while now, so it's almost as easy as BREATHING. Efren brings some poetry from Walt Whitman, Aaron brings Andre the Giant, Josh forgets his lines, and Abe reveals his vulnerabilities, all on today's EXTREME VOCABULARY.
On today's episode of Extreme Vocabulary, we take a look at a very common word with very ancient origins. Unlike left, it's opposite, it has numerous definitions. In fact, the very essence of this word suggests that morality is based on strength. It's weird. Then, Efren brings a piece of literature from Tahia Muhammed Ali, and in a rare feat for this podcast, we never once go off topic. Too good to be true, you say? Well, plug in your earphones and see if I'm right.
The Extremers are three-legged in this episode, without the mighty aid and insight of Efren. Abraham, Josh, and Aaron shuffle forward in order to try and figure out the mysteries and mystique of the word fetish. Abe crunches away at our brains with his deep research and encyclopedic knowledge of all things word-y while Josh and Aaron add their unique perspectives to this titillating word and its many implications. Meanwhile, due to the absence of our steadfast literature maven (Efren), Aaron steps up and does his best impression of a person who knows how to read poetry. The showcase piece of lit today happens to be a poem: ARIA by David Barber. Come to this episode with an open mind and a forgiving nature as we whip up a short, but sweet, activity to stimulate your ears and, hopefully, your minds.
Today we take a break from our normal format to reveal tiny slivers of our identities and lives. Also, some number of impressions are made. Don't get knocked down, get up again, and enjoy this episode.
Tag! You're listening to Extreme Vocabulary, which means that you are, are doing, and have today's word. Confused? Well, you shouldn't be, after all you've known what you are since birth right? Join Abe and Aaron as they discuss the nature of this excitable little pronoun while Efren shares a passage from Wuthering Heights. Think you know everything there is to know about it? Take a listen and find out!
Today we find ourselves at the precipice between what is symbol and what is phenomena, and we discuss how words and numbers help us crossover from our crude matter into our minds and back out into the cosmos. Art itself supports and is supported by today's word. We also discuss weighty philosophical matters such as, what is the best time to eat a banana? And what the definition of is is. Abe did the researdch, while Efren brings us a piece of literature from Hector Tobar, and we choose a piece of music too. In the end though, it's really hard to say how anything really ever happened.
Psst! It's us. We're right behind you. And in front of you. And also in these tiny wafers. That's right we are using our godlike powers to reach you yet again for another episode of Extreme Vocabulary. On this episode, we study another word with its roots in religious history. Then, we take a listen to some wise words by Borges.
On today's episode, we are missing Aaron so we lose our edge as we discuss today's not-so-sharp word, BLUNT. So join us as we consider the history of how warfare generates our metaphors, insults make us dance, and salsa inspires the salivary glands for us all. Abe takes us back in time through the origins of this word, while Efren brings a recent example from a work of literature by Justin Torres.
In this second of our two-part series, we think about communism's root word commune. We ask, what can humans commune with? What is left of the commons? Air? Water? Desert? And Efren offers Planet Fitness as a utopian model of communism. Wait! Hear us out! Efren brings a poem by Brian Komei Dempster, Abe tells us about the Paris commune, Josh tells us about the E.T. Atari games in the desert, and Aaron teaches us how to commune with each other here on Extreme Vocabulary!
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Podcast Details

Aug 17th, 2016
Latest Episode
Feb 28th, 2020
Release Period
No. of Episodes
Avg. Episode Length
44 minutes

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