Episode 5: Moons and Moods of the Blue Kind

On rare occasion you may perhaps wonder where the expression “Once in a Blue Moon” comes from. This week Paul Brians discusses the true origin.

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Links:
Moody Blues, by Paul Brians
The Eggcorn Database
Why Did People Once Think the Moon was Made Out of Cheese? (from Today I Found Out)

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Episode 4: Synonyms

Choosing the right word is more than a matter of looking up synonyms. In this episode Paul Brians talks about word choice, with a smattering of etymology and linguistic discussion of “snow words” thrown in.

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Links:
Sapir-Whorf hypothesis

“Eskimo Words for Snow”: A Case Study in the Genesis and Decay of an Anthropological Example, by Laura Martin (also see Bad science reporting again: the Eskimos are back, by Geoffrey K. Pullum).

Episode 3: Blogging, Dating, and Grammar

Ever thought you’d like to hear two middle-aged married men’s advice on dating? No? Too bad—in this week’s episode we talk about something that’s been in the news lately: English usage in online dating profiles.

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Links:
What’s Really Hot on Dating Sites? Proper Grammar
On Dating Sites, Good Writing Matters
In Journalism, Grammar Is Everything
The Common Errors in English Usage Blog – all posts