20 episodes

That's What They Say is a weekly segment on Michigan Public that explores our changing language. Each week University of Michigan English Professor Anne Curzan will discuss why we say what we say with Michigan Public Weekend Edition host Rebecca Kruth.

That's What They Say Anne Curzan, Rebecca Kruth

    • Education
    • 4.9 • 111 Ratings

That's What They Say is a weekly segment on Michigan Public that explores our changing language. Each week University of Michigan English Professor Anne Curzan will discuss why we say what we say with Michigan Public Weekend Edition host Rebecca Kruth.

    TWTS: Whether "or not" belongs in "whether or not" or not

    TWTS: Whether "or not" belongs in "whether or not" or not

    We don’t all agree on whether or not we should correct the phrasing "whether or not."

    • 5 min
    TWTS: Going forth and back on "back and forth"

    TWTS: Going forth and back on "back and forth"

    We can talk about sending emails back and forth. But why does it sound odd to talk about sending them forth and back?

    • 4 min
    TWTS: You can tuna fish, but you may not need the "fish"

    TWTS: You can tuna fish, but you may not need the "fish"

    Given that “tuna” is a fish, some may find it unnecessary to call out that fact out in the compound “tuna fish.” For others, “fish” may be an important distinction.

    • 4 min
    TWTS: Prone to be prone

    TWTS: Prone to be prone

    You can be prone to do something, whether you're lying down or not.

    • 5 min
    TWTS: Attend as many "trainings" as you like

    TWTS: Attend as many "trainings" as you like

    There’s evidence of a new peeve arising. This one is focused on “training” as a countable noun.

    • 5 min
    TWTS: An oft overlooked double possessive

    TWTS: An oft overlooked double possessive

    Lots of people don't like the redundancy in "irregardless." However, no one's fussy about the redundancy in a phrase like "a friend of mine."

    • 4 min

Customer Reviews

4.9 out of 5
111 Ratings

111 Ratings

EconoPNW ,

It’s Oscar Season!

Why do all the Hollywood celebrities use the torturous phrase “I’m appreciative of” instead of “I appreciate” when thanking all the little people during an Oscar acceptance speech?

This reminds me of another passively torturous phrase, “you are so missed”, in place of “we miss you.” I wonder why people adopt such affected phrasing…

GenXMeg ,

“I resonate with this.”

I love this. Please do the word “resonate.” Why the surge in popularity lately and rampant misusage?

JJS359 ,

Thanks!

I absorb books about English usage, so I have looked forward to and enjoyed Sunday mornings.

However occasionally I do miss some broadcasts, so THANK YOU for the blog! We are about to fly to see our (UM Alumna) daughter, so I am saving the blog entries as a treat during our the flight. Love it!
Jim

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