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Chion Wolf / Connecticut Public Radio

Merriam-Webster has added 533 new words to its dictionary. Words like "deep state," "pickleball," "escape room," and "Bechdel test." My favorite is probably "fatberg." But there's a particular new dictionary entry that The Nose is specifically interested in: "dad joke."

Also this week: The Nose tackles what we're pretty sure is its first certifiable bomb ever. The new movie adaptation of The Goldfinch opened last weekend on more than 2,500 screens at #8 at the domestic box office. It took in a little over $2.6 million. It is the sixth-worst opening for a release that wide in the history of movies.

Chion Wolf / Connecticut Public Radio

There's kind of a lot going on this week: There's rumored to be a new 007. The Emmy nominations are out. There's a new dating trend called 'Caspering.' Farhad Manjoo thinks we should all use the singular 'they.' 1.7 million people want to raid Area 51. Anthony Fantano (or an animated version of Anthony Fantano, really) is in the new "Old Town Road" video. During the New York City blackout, Star Wars fans helped direct traffic... with their lightsabers. And: The Cats trailer is out, and it's maybe kind of, uh, horrifying?

Lets Eat Grandma!

May 1, 2019
Danielle Blumenthal / Flickr Creative Commons

Who would have thought that a book on grammar would be #5 on Amazon's best-seller list? (Should that be "whom" would have thought? Should I write out the number five? Should it be "bestseller?" Ugh. I can't remember if the exclamation goes inside or outside the quotation mark in the sentence I just asked myself.)

Bert Heymans / Creative Commons

Students who are deaf or hard of hearing often struggle to develop language, so state lawmakers are considering a bill that would require districts to collect and share data on their language abilities.

Lets Eat Grandma!

Feb 11, 2019
Danielle Blumenthal / Creative Commons

Who would have thought that a book on grammar would be #5 on Amazon's best-seller list? (Should that be "whom" would have thought? Should I write out the number five? Should it be "bestseller?" Ugh. I can't remember if the exclamation goes inside or outside the quotation mark in the sentence I just asked myself.)

Jonathan McNicol / Connecticut Public Radio

Language is an untamable beast. You can decide that infinitives aren't to be split and that "whom" is the objective form of "who" and that "literally" literally means literally. But here's the thing: Language doesn't have to care one way or the other what nonsense you've decided.

hobvias sudoneighm / flickr creative commons

Semiotics is the study of sign process, which is to say: it's the science of the search for meaning.

And then, part of the underlying premise of semiotics -- which just happens to be part of the underlying premise of The Colin McEnroe Show, itself -- is that there's meaning... everywhere.

PBS Newshour / Creative Commons

A new study from Yale University concludes that white liberals actually make themselves appear less competent when interacting with African Americans.

Elias Baker / John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation

Nicholson Baker once spent a portion of his retirement savings to rescue first edition newspapers from being destroyed. He also fought to save card catalogues and to prevent library managers from sending thousands of books to landfills in their rush to microfilm. 

He fought on behalf of all of us who think about what is lost when the specifics of a particular moment are worn away or forgotten or altered in the subsequent retellings of the original observations. It's kind of like a childhood game of telephone where the original message is passed from child to child until the last person relays a message with little resemblance to the original. 

Mark Anderson / Creative Commons

Shakespeare was famous for his off-color puns, yet much of their cleverness has been lost to the  evolution of our English language.

In Shakespeare's English, the word "nothing" was pronounced as "no-ting," which at that time was a euphemism for um, a female lady part. In modern parlance, that would translate to Much Ado About... (female lady part.) Much is lost between Elizabethan times and today. 

Mark Anderson / Creative Commons

We're having a pun contest this Wednesday, October 24, 1-2 pm. Wanna join? Send us a pun on any of these topics - animals, food, politics. (Or, just send us your best)

Call us at 860-275-7266 during our live show, Tweet us anytime @wnprcolin, or comment on this post on our Facebook page.

Andrew Turner / Creative Commons

There's a mostly forgotten story by the mostly forgotten sci-fi writer, R.A. Lafferty. It's called, "What's The Name of That Town." We meet a team of scientists and an amusing sentiant computer examining clues that suggested something existed once upon a time and has now been erased.

It turns out to be the city of Chicago which has been obliterated in an accident so traumatic that the city's existence has been wiped from all records and from peoples actual memories.

hobvias sudoneighm / flickr creative commons

Semiotics is the study of sign process, which is to say: it's the science of the search for meaning.

And then, part of the underlying premise of semiotics -- which just happens to be part of the underlying premise of The Colin McEnroe Show, itself -- is that there's meaning... everywhere.

zenilorac / flickr creative commons

Numbers are so fundamental to our understanding of the world around us that we maybe tend to think of them as an intrinsic part of the world around us. But they aren't. Humans invented numbers just as much as we invented all of language.

Sucking Up

Mar 27, 2018
Bob Jenkins / Creative Commons

At President Trump's first full cabinet meeting in June 2017, we watched with some amusement while each member expressed over-the-top gratitude for the president's giving them the privilege to serve him and/or the American people. 

Dave Newman / Creative Commons

President Trump is changing the office of the presidency.

He spent his first year in office defying political conventions and norms followed by the forty-four presidents before him. Some would say that he is squandering the moral integrity of the presidency. Will these changes outlast his tenure? How durable is the office of the presidency?

Sucking Up

Nov 30, 2017
Bob Jenkins / Creative Commons

At President Trump's first full cabinet meeting in June 2017, we watched with some amusement while each member expressed over-the-top gratitude for the president's giving them the privilege to serve him and/or the American people. 

Ryan Caron King / WNPR

Much of Puerto Rico remains devastated six weeks after Hurricane Maria, with many areas lacking access to electricity and clean water. The disaster has led some Puerto Rican families to relocate to the mainland.

This hour, family ties bring many evacuees to Connecticut--so how is our state welcoming these new arrivals in our community?

Ryan Caron King / WNPR

It’s 7:00 am, and Joemar Class is dressed in his new Bulkeley High School uniform. His older brother William already finished school in Puerto Rico, so he’s still asleep in the bedroom the two boys share with their father.

Chion Wolf / WNPR

Coming up: We sit down with Chuck Collins, senior scholar at the Washington, D.C.-based Institute for Policy Studies.

But first: A look at how researchers are working to preserve the world's most endangered languages -- including locally-based efforts to expand fluency of the Mohegan language

zenilorac / flickr creative commons

Numbers are so fundamental to our understanding of the world around us that we maybe tend to think of them as an intrinsic part of the world around us. But they aren't. Humans invented numbers just as much as we invented all of language.

Chion Wolf / WNPR

Coming up: We find out how researchers are working to preserve the world's most endangered languages -- including a look at locally-based efforts to expand fluency of the Mohegan language.

But first: reaction to the weekend’s news out of Charlottesville.

We check in with former Virginia residents and we also hear from you.

How do you interpret this latest incident of racism and violence? Do you worry that something similar could happen here in Connecticut? 

Donkey Hotey / Creative Commons

The Trump Administration is quietly limiting access to public information, especially as it relates to ethics and enforcement. We can no longer view disclosures about workplace violations, energy efficiency, or animal welfare abuses. 

Faces of Ancient Europe / Flickr

In looking to our past, a curious trend appears. A vast amount of mankind's great accomplishments in art, music, science, technology and language seem to emerge from a relatively small number of cities:  Athens, Hangzhou, Florence, Rome, Calcutta, Vienna, and Silicon Valley-- just to name a few.

Flickr Creative Commons

When this forum was originally scheduled, it was intended as a conversation about how our language is changing. Example, the idiom "woke" or "#woke" has a very keen set of meanings to one group and flies by another.

Beyond Words

Dec 1, 2016
Katie Tegtmeyer / Creative Commons

Imagine if you couldn't speak and had no capacity for learning language as we know it. You couldn't choose words to communicate your feelings and desires and needs. You wouldn't know words that help others understand the world in which you live.

This isn't like vacationing in a country that speaks a different language where the words are different but still convey universal concepts. It's so difficult to understand a world without words, that we block the signals sending us non-verbal cues every day. This is completely foreign to most of us. What would you do? How would you communicate? How would you survive? 

Love, Politics, and Leonard Cohen

Nov 14, 2016
Rama / Creative Commons

Leonard Cohen, one of our greatest poets, died last Monday and was buried on Thursday next to his parents in a cemetery in Montreal. The cause of his death was leukemia. The likely cause of the leukemia was a lifetime of smoking. 

Betsy Kaplan / WNPR

Against Everything is a book about self-improvement. Before you tune out, I ask you to challenge your notion of 'self-improvement.' 

Bob Dylan has won the 2016 Nobel Prize in literature. The prolific musician is the first Nobel winner to have forged a career primarily as a singer-songwriter. What's more, he's also the first American to have won the prize in more than two decades. Not since novelist Toni Morrison won in 1993 has an American claimed the prize.

woodleywonderworks / Creative Commons

Learning English can be tough for children whose parents speak a different language at home. But a new study suggests that, in Spanish-speaking homes, learning words and numbers in Spanish actually helps children pick up English faster.

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