Wordz: TMSIDK Episode 9

Listen now:

Our word-geniuses Joanna Coles, Adriana Trigiani and Maeve Higgins on Tell Me Something I Don’t Know. (Photo: Lucy Sutton)

Here’s something you “totes” didn’t know: people produce and understand abbreviations like “totes” without any instructions or linguistic training. These “abbrevs,” or truncations, originally occurred with the word “totes,” and people who use them mostly agree about how to make these abbreviated forms. They’re subconsciously using their linguistic knowledge to make abbrevs that they’re never heard, but that could be well-formed English words.

This episode of Tell Me Something I Don’t Know is all about the written — or spoken, or programmed, or texted — word. Let’s start with the letter “A”: abbreviations, absenteeism, AI, advertisements and …a rising tide. Our panelists:

Joanna Coles, content editor for Hearst Magazines, definitely recognizes Justin Trudeau when she sees him.

Adriana Trigiani, author of eight New York Times best-sellers, has done this whole “game show” thing before.

Maeve Higgins, comedian and host of the podcast Maeve in America, just needs a tub full of peanut butter.

Our real-time fact-checker is Bourree Lam, writer for the Atlantic and former wordsmith for a once-great blog.