Monday, November 27, 2006

Carnivores eat meat, herbivores eat plants, and ....

Interesting article about a new report in the journal Nature on lexical gustatory-synesthesia. It's an extremely rare condition in which people involuntarily "taste" certain words when they hear them -- and MRI scans supposedly they're not making this up.

One subject ... hates driving, because the road signs flood his mouth with everything from pistachio ice cream to ear wax.

Another subject, upon seeing the word "castanets," always tastes tuna. Of course, those of us who love word origins sometimes have a slightly different problem. When I see the word "castanets," I taste nuts -- preferably dipped in mellifluous.

Sunday, November 19, 2006

Bookmark THIS! Visual Thesaurus

Visual Thesaurus has long been one of my favorite sites on the web. It's an extremely helpful reference tool that you really have to experience to believe. A writer friend turned me on to it a couple of years ago, and I've been using it ever since. The site also features lots of a multitude of interviews and information for language lovers.

That's why I'm THRILLED to be able to say that support for "A Way with Words" now comes from the good folks at Thinkmap, creators of the Visual Thesaurus.

So check out the Visual Thesaurus, the site that Yahoo! calls a "near-perfect combination of content and design" right here.

More about those Ch-ch-ch-ch-ch-changes

Well, if you heard this weekend's show, you heard my esteemed fellow Verbivore, Richard Lederer, signing off as co-host of "A Way with Words."

Here's a story in today's San Diego Union-Tribune about it all.

And podcast listeners, this info's for you: We'll be rolling out the all new "A Way with Words" in early January 2007. In the meantime, we're working on some VERY exciting new developments with the show. So please stay tuned!

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Got Carbon?

The good folks at Oxford University Press have announced their latest choice for "Word of the Year." It's "carbon neutral."

Hmmmm, I dunno -- I have to confess I have a fondness for the runner-up, "elbow bump," defined as: "a greeting in which two people touch elbows, recommended by the World Health Organization as an alternative to the handshake in order to reduce the spread of germs." Excellent idea, that. For starters, I'd love to see politicians start working rope lines that way.