That's What They Say

A Society, Culture and Arts podcast
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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 Radio 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 Radio Weekend Edition host Rebecca Kruth.

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Among the many odd things about standard varieties of English is the “s” at the end of “knocks” as in “She knocks on the door.” If you were to change “she” to “I,” “you,” “we,” or “they,” the “s” would go away, and “knocks” would become “knock.” Why does t hird person singular tense get an "s" tacked on the end?
If your life is in shambles, you probably have bigger things to worry about than grammar. This week's topic comes from a listener who wanted to know the origin of "in shambles." Soon after we received this question, a co-worker told us she was surprised to learn this phrase, used to refer to a mess or state of disorder, was originally "a shambles."
A few weeks ago on Reddit, someone posted a clip from the Ellen Degeneres Show. The guest was Candice Payne, the Chicago woman who rented hotel rooms for homeless people during last month’s polar vortex. The post’s headline was, “Ellen gifts $50k to Candice Payne, Chicago woman who help over 122 homeless people during brutal cold winter last week.” In the comments below the post, one user asked t…

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Podcast Details
Started
Nov 21st, 2016
Latest Episode
Mar 17th, 2019
Release Period
Weekly
No. of Episodes
136
Avg. Episode Length
5 minutes

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