OnWords

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Website
http://kmuw.org
Description
An exploration and celebration of language and all of it's many quirks, KMUW commentator Lael Ewy.
Language
🇬🇧 English
last modified
2019-05-14 17:52
last episode published
2019-05-14 11:46
publication frequency
9.54 days
Contributors
OnWords author  
KMUW owner  
Explicit
false
Number of Episodes
111
Rss-Feeds
Detail page
Categories
Unsorted

Recommendations


Episodes

Date Thumb Title & Description Contributors
14.05.2019

OnWords: Regulation

The word “regulation” takes on different meanings depending on where you stand. Libertarians tend to bemoan it. Environmentalists are likely on board. They both can agree that “regulation” in sports is not only OK, but probably necessary. Those who pla...
Lael Ewy author
30.04.2019

OnWords: 'Idiot'

I started worrying about the word “idiot” while discussing whether or not our smartphones are making us stupid. The word “idiot” shares its roots with words such as “idiom” and “idiopathic” from an ancient Greek word meaning “private.” “Idiot” as we kn...
Lael Ewy author
16.04.2019

OnWords: Organic

When new think about a word like “organic,” we think about how it’s seeded throughout the language. Chemists might contend that “organic” refers to compounds containing a significant amount of carbon, the origin of which is irrelevant: a chemical is a ...
Lael Ewy author
2.04.2019

OnWords: 'Spring'

It seems like it will never arrive. But once it does, spring seems like the the only possible way to be. We use the word spring for that time of year when hope, as we say, proves that it springs eternal, when the vernal shows the trace of Persephone re...
Lael Ewy author
19.03.2019

OnWords: 'Inflection Point'

“Inflection point” is a term originating in mathematics that describes the point on a curve at which the direction of the curve changes. Business seems to have picked up on “inflection point,” broadening the term to refer to any moment of significant c...
Lael Ewy author
5.03.2019

OnWords: 'Screen'

Considering how much time we spend with screens, we don’t spend much of that talking about the word “screen” and all the ways we use it. The screen on your laptop, tablet, or phone is both what you use to view things and the view itself, both the physi...
Lael Ewy author
19.02.2019

OnWords: Insulting Language

It’s not so much that there’s more insulting language these days but that it isn’t very good. Calling a Millennial lazy or entitled, for example, simply shows a lack of wit. Consider George Bernard Shaw’s note to Winston Churchill that he was “enclosin...
Lael Ewy author
19.02.2019

OnWords: Insulting Language

It’s not so much that there’s more insulting language these days but that it isn’t very good. Calling a Millennial lazy or entitled, for example, simply shows a lack of wit. Consider George Bernard Shaw’s note to Winston Churchill that he was “enclosin...
Lael Ewy author
5.02.2019

OnWords: Whataboutism

We’ve probably all been there. In the middle of a heated debate, our frustrated opponent hauls out the ol’ “what about . . .” followed by some horrible thing someone on our side once did. An atheist, for example, might premise a comeback with “What abo...
Lael Ewy author
5.02.2019

OnWords: Whataboutism

We’ve probably all been there. In the middle of a heated debate, our frustrated opponent hauls out the ol’ “what about . . .” followed by some horrible thing someone on our side once did. An atheist, for example, might premise a comeback with “What abo...
Lael Ewy author
22.01.2019

OnWords: Shutdown

For some reason, the word shutdown has been on my mind lately…but let’s look at the word itself.
Lael Ewy author
22.01.2019

OnWords: Shutdown

For some reason, the word shutdown has been on my mind lately…but let’s look at the word itself.
Lael Ewy author
9.01.2019

OnWords: Transactional

The underpinnings of Donald Trump’s leadership style have often been described as “transactional.” Observers and analysts seem to mean by this term an approach that sees the world as essentially a deal: for every thing we do, we expect reciprocity, hop...
Lael Ewy author
9.01.2019

OnWords: Transactional

The underpinnings of Donald Trump’s leadership style have often been described as “transactional.” Observers and analysts seem to mean by this term an approach that sees the world as essentially a deal: for every thing we do, we expect reciprocity, hop...
Lael Ewy author
1.01.2019

OnWords: Thanks

The holiday season and the year’s end have a lot of people taking stock. Gratitude proliferates on social media, a new thanks for every day, for family and friends, pets and pies, warm socks and hot coffee, a fireplace on a raw, autumnal night. No matt...
Lael Ewy author
1.01.2019

OnWords: Thanks

The holiday season and the year’s end have a lot of people taking stock. Gratitude proliferates on social media, a new thanks for every day, for family and friends, pets and pies, warm socks and hot coffee, a fireplace on a raw, autumnal night. No matt...
Lael Ewy author
11.12.2018

OnWords: Blue Wave

After this year’s midterm elections, news-types spent countless hours trying to decide if the results could be described as a “blue wave” or not. “Blue wave” is supposed to mean the electorate turning toward Democratic candidates, by associating their ...
Lael Ewy author
11.12.2018

OnWords: Blue Wave

After this year’s midterm elections, news-types spent countless hours trying to decide if the results could be described as a “blue wave” or not. “Blue wave” is supposed to mean the electorate turning toward Democratic candidates, by associating their ...
Lael Ewy author
27.11.2018

OnWords: Dog Whistle

The term “dog whistle” pops up in politics with much higher frequency these days. A literal dog whistle is a whistle that emits sounds at a pitch beyond human hearing but that can be heard by dogs and domestic cats. Dog-whistle politics refers to ideas...
Lael Ewy author
27.11.2018

OnWords: Dog Whistle

The term “dog whistle” pops up in politics with much higher frequency these days. A literal dog whistle is a whistle that emits sounds at a pitch beyond human hearing but that can be heard by dogs and domestic cats. Dog-whistle politics refers to ideas...
Lael Ewy author
13.11.2018

OnWords: Witch Hunt

When an American uses the term “witch hunt,” a few inter-related referents come to mind.
Lael Ewy author
13.11.2018

OnWords: Witch Hunt

When an American uses the term “witch hunt,” a few inter-related referents come to mind.
Lael Ewy author
30.10.2018

OnWords: Pumpkin

You can’t avoid the word “pumpkin” this time of year, even if you’re the sort of person who avoids pumpkin flavors or pumpkins themselves. “Pumpkin” is a fun word. Roll it over your tongue a little. With its luscious “u,” delicious “m,” and mouth-filli...
Lael Ewy author
30.10.2018

OnWords: Pumpkin

You can’t avoid the word “pumpkin” this time of year, even if you’re the sort of person who avoids pumpkin flavors or pumpkins themselves. “Pumpkin” is a fun word. Roll it over your tongue a little. With its luscious “u,” delicious “m,” and mouth-filli...
Lael Ewy author
16.10.2018

OnWords: #Hashtags

Those who do search engine optimization for a living contend that the hashtag is not all that useful, since few people actually use them to search for the content they want.
Lael Ewy author
16.10.2018

OnWords: #Hashtags

Those who do search engine optimization for a living contend that the hashtag is not all that useful, since few people actually use them to search for the content they want.
Lael Ewy author
2.10.2018

OnWords: Plaques And Statues

Recent debate over removing Confederate statuary from public spaces illuminates the intersection of words and other forms of expression. The civil rights activists who have succeeded in getting Confederate statues removed from public places argue that ...
Lael Ewy author
2.10.2018

OnWords: Plaques and Statues

Recent debate over removing Confederate statuary from public spaces illuminates the intersection of words and other forms of expression. The civil rights activists who have succeeded in getting Confederate statues removed from public places argue that ...
Lael Ewy author
4.09.2018

OnWords: Narrative

It has always bothered me that grant proposals always require “narratives.” Grant narratives are generally so highly structured that they could not possibly resemble narrative as we commonly use the term. Coming from a background in creative writing, I...
Lael Ewy author
4.09.2018

OnWords: Narrative

It has always bothered me that grant proposals always require “narratives.” Grant narratives are generally so highly structured that they could not possibly resemble narrative as we commonly use the term. Coming from a background in creative writing, I...
Lael Ewy author
21.08.2018

OnWords: Kowtowing To The Language Of Power

When Wichita State University’s Education Department recently changed its name to the College of Applied Studies, it may have aligned them with university goals, but it was a blow to plain language. George Orwell warned us 70 years ago of such doublesp...
Lael Ewy author
21.08.2018

OnWords: Kowtowing to the Language of Power

When Wichita State University’s Education Department recently changed its name to the College of Applied Studies, it may have aligned them with university goals, but it was a blow to plain language. George Orwell warned us 70 years ago of such doublesp...
Lael Ewy author
7.08.2018

OnWords: Letters (and Numbers) for Words as a Stylistic Choice

I ran across a phrase online the other day that I hadn’t seen in a while: “What, U mad?” with the letter “U” substituted for the word spelled “y-o-u.” I don’t normally hang out where this phrase is used—it’s a way internet trolls tweak their targets—bu...
Lael Ewy author
7.08.2018

OnWords: Letters (and Numbers) for Words as a Stylistic Choice

I ran across a phrase online the other day that I hadn’t seen in a while: “What, U mad?” with the letter “U” substituted for the word spelled “y-o-u.” I don’t normally hang out where this phrase is used—it’s a way internet trolls tweak their targets—bu...
Lael Ewy author
24.07.2018

OnWords: Performance

Those of us who work for someone other than ourselves become so used to “performance reviews” that we seldom stop to consider what they mean. Though commonly used in human resources circles, the word “performance” implies that our workplaces are ethica...
Lael Ewy author
24.07.2018

OnWords: Performance

Those of us who work for someone other than ourselves become so used to “performance reviews” that we seldom stop to consider what they mean. Though commonly used in human resources circles, the word “performance” implies that our workplaces are ethica...
Lael Ewy author
10.07.2018

OnWords: 'Our Most Vulnerable'

“Our most vulnerable” is a term we use to transfer an audience’s pity from others and onto whoever isusing the term. Consider its use: when we label groups such as the homeless, the elderly, and children as “our most vulnerable” we draw attention away ...
Lael Ewy author
10.07.2018

OnWords: 'Our Most Vulnerable'

“Our most vulnerable” is a term we use to transfer an audience’s pity from others and onto whoever isusing the term. Consider its use: when we label groups such as the homeless, the elderly, and children as “our most vulnerable” we draw attention away ...
Lael Ewy author
26.06.2018

OnWords: The Metaphors of Agriculture

Late spring and early summer is wheat harvest season in Kansas, and it has me thinking about how deeply agricultural metaphors interweave into common speech. This is maybe a bit surprising, considering how few of us actually farm. Even in urban setting...
Lael Ewy author
26.06.2018

OnWords: The Metaphors of Agriculture

Late spring and early summer is wheat harvest season in Kansas, and it has me thinking about how deeply agricultural metaphors interweave into common speech. This is maybe a bit surprising, considering how few of us actually farm. Even in urban setting...
Lael Ewy author
26.06.2018

OnWords: The Metaphors of Agriculture

Late spring and early summer is wheat harvest season in Kansas, and it has me thinking about how deeply agricultural metaphors interweave into common speech. This is maybe a bit surprising, considering how few of us actually farm. Even in urban setting...
Lael Ewy author
12.06.2018

OnWords: Is Unacceptable

At some point we’ve all heard or said that something or other (quote) “is unacceptable.” “Is unacceptable” is one of those phrases that seep through the language and bubble up seemingly everywhere. But there are a few things very wrong with it. “Is una...
Lael Ewy author
12.06.2018

OnWords: Is Unacceptable

At some point we’ve all heard or said that something or other (quote) “is unacceptable.” “Is unacceptable” is one of those phrases that seep through the language and bubble up seemingly everywhere. But there are a few things very wrong with it. “Is una...
Lael Ewy author
12.06.2018

OnWords: Is Unacceptable

At some point we’ve all heard or said that something or other (quote) “is unacceptable.” “Is unacceptable” is one of those phrases that seep through the language and bubble up seemingly everywhere. But there are a few things very wrong with it. “Is una...
Lael Ewy author
29.05.2018

OnWords: Identity

More fundamental than the issue of so-called identity politics is the definition of identity itself. My work in the mental health field has me facilitating workshops on culture and its impact on work in human services. In these workshops, we inevitably...
Lael Ewy author
29.05.2018

OnWords: Identity

More fundamental than the issue of so-called identity politics is the definition of identity itself. My work in the mental health field has me facilitating workshops on culture and its impact on work in human services. In these workshops, we inevitably...
Lael Ewy author
29.05.2018

OnWords: Identity

More fundamental than the issue of so-called identity politics is the definition of identity itself. My work in the mental health field has me facilitating workshops on culture and its impact on work in human services. In these workshops, we inevitably...
Lael Ewy author
15.05.2018

OnWords: Mission Accomplished

Recently, our president used the words “mission accomplished” to describe military action in Syria. The phrase immediately brought up a famous faux pas: George W. Bush slapping the same term across an aircraft carrier to proclaim the same in Iraq. That...
Lael Ewy author
15.05.2018

OnWords: Mission Accomplished

Recently, our president used the words “mission accomplished” to describe military action in Syria. The phrase immediately brought up a famous faux pas: George W. Bush slapping the same term across an aircraft carrier to proclaim the same in Iraq. That...
Lael Ewy author
15.05.2018

OnWords: Mission Accomplished

Recently, our president used the words “mission accomplished” to describe military action in Syria. The phrase immediately brought up a famous faux pas: George W. Bush slapping the same term across an aircraft carrier to proclaim the same in Iraq. That...
Lael Ewy author