The Word Nerds: A Weekly Podcast About Words, Language, and Why We Say the Things We Do

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December 2005
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copyright © 2005, 2006 by Dave Shepherd, Howard Shepherd, and Howard Chang

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Dave Shepherd explains that the only reason this show is rated 'R' is because of the second song. (It would otherwise probably be PG.) (1:59)

Howard Chang, Howard Shepherd and Dave Shepherd talk about the langauge of games and playing. (2:19)

Song: 'Play My Game,' by Heidi McCurdy (6:35)

More gaming language--'frolic,' 'cavort,' 'puzzle,' 'pun' (9:35)

Music bumper from 'Games' by Shaun (15:30)

Greetings from Simran in India. (15:53)

Rude word of the week: 'player/playa' (16:16)

Song: 'Playa's Fo Life,' by Gangsta Tea, the Oklahoma Realist (18:36)

Games nerds play (23:05)

  • Catchphrase (23:17)
  • Taboo (24:40)
  • Scattergories (25:53)
  • Fictionary (27:17)
You play Fictionary with us. Type your answers to the word 'melicrate' as comments here under this blog post. (Listen to the choices first.) (32:37)

Music courtesy of GarageBand.com

Theme music by Kick the Cat

time: 35:42
size: 16.4 Mb

rating: R (Our discussion is all pretty PG-mild, but our second song uses a racial epithet and rather rude street slang for women.)

Direct download: TWN-2005-12-31.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 1:42am EDT

Dave Shepherd introduces a look back over the previous 41 editions of The Word Nerds, on behalf of Howard Shepherd and Howard Chang. (3:27)

Greeting from Annik Rubens of Schlaflos in München (7:10)

Song: 'Why,' by The Day Traders (7:31)

Greeting from Sébastien of French Podclass (11:26)

Clips from the past year:

Greeting from Paul Nicholls of podcastpaul.com (17:40) Greeting from Chad ('Me') & the Bean from podcastrant.com (21:05)

Song: 'Friday Night,' by Amy Dalley (21:05)

Greeting from Jason of Perth, Australia (24:52)

Rude Words of the Week:

Greeting from Scott Fletcher of Podcheck Review (29:10)

Song: 'Talk, Talk, Talk,' by Cheryl B. Engelhardt (29:10)

Greeting and etymology of 'accent' from Charles Hodgson of podictionary (31:31)

More clips from the past:

Greeting from Holger of MacManiacs (36:11)

Music courtesy of GarageBand.com and The Podsafe Music Network

Theme music by Kick the Cat

time: 41:53
size: 19.2 Mb

rating: PG-13 (some of our most interesting rude words, plus sexual references in our clip from the Euphemisms show)

Direct download: TWN-2005-12-24.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 12:03am EDT

Howard Shepherd and Dave Shepherd define insidious idioms--quirky forms of expression that don't seem quirky to native speakers. (2:33)

Song: 'Figure It Out,' by Cara Aley (7:00)

Embedded metaphor versus insidious idiom (10:02)

Music bumper from 'Like Shine' by Likeshine. (18:18)

Rude word of the week: 'piss off' (18:46)

Song: 'So Long, Goodby,' by The Jimi Ruccolo Band (23:12)

Cross cultural confusions and insidious idioms (26:25)

Annik Rubens chats with Dave about cross-cultural confusion in Germany (26:37)

Music courtesy of GarageBand.com

Theme music by Kick the Cat

time: 32:27
size: 14.9 Mb

rating: PG (We chose a less rude Rude Word than we original considered, but it's still rather rude. We also make a brief, non-explicit sexual reference.)

Direct download: TWN-2005-12-17.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 12:03pm EDT

Howard Chang and Dave Shepherd explore the etymology of words used to talk about curiosity. (Thanks to Paul Lawler for this topic suggestion.) (1:54)
  • curious
  • quidnunc
Song: 'Why,' by Mandi Perkins (6:19)

More about the dark side of curiosity (10:30)

  • eavesdropper
  • voyeur
  • gossip
  • Schadenfreude
  • spying, espionage
  • interrogation
Music bumper from 'Why' by Don't Call Me Dude (16:23)

Rude word of the week: 'MYOB (mind your own business)' (17:06)

Song: 'Why,' by The Day Traders (19:12)

Curiosity as a good thing (the quality that teachers like students to have) (23:07)

Music courtesy of GarageBand.com

Theme music by Kick the Cat

time: 29:25
size: 13.5 Mb

rating: PG (discussion of Jeffrey Eugenides' fascinating novel Middlesex, about a hermaphrodite)

Direct download: TWN-2005-12-10.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 2:48pm EDT

Howard Shepherd and Dave Shepherd tip their hats to the great, famous, and influential word nerds in the modern history of the English language. (1:49)

Song: 'Talk, Talk, Talk,' by Cheryl B. Engelhardt (16:17 )

Our friend Jason from Perth, Australia sends greetings. (18:37)

Rude word of the week: 'old fart' (18:46)

Song: 'Mark My Words,' by Granian (22:32)

Word nerds in the mass media (up to, and including podcasting) (25:44)

Music courtesy of The Podsafe Music Network

Theme music by Kick the Cat, courtesy of GarageBand.com

time: 33:50
size: 15.5 Mb

rating: PG (We mention a recent rude Rude Word and explicate the details of this week's Rude Word.)

Direct download: TWN-2005-12-03.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 12:00pm EDT