Kathryn Petras & Ross Petras

What’s New

 
The Words of 2023 We kick off  2024 with a look at the words of LAST year as chosen by different dictionaries, plus discussion about how and why they were chosen … and IF they should have been chosen. (Yup, let’s just say we’re not really rizzed up by rizz …) ( You’re Saying it Wrong on NPR)
 
Deck the Halls The weird and wonderful backgrounds of many holiday words, a reindeer controversy …. and you’ll never think about a partridge in a pear tree the same way!  (You’re Saying it Wrong on NPR)
 
Stop being so non-positive! You can’t get no satisfaction? Maybe listening to this week’s podcast all about negatives — double and even triple! — will help. It isn’t not fun at all! You’re Saying it Wrong on NPR)
 
 
Escher sentences (and other nice ways of saying nothing) Today we look at phrases that seem at first glance to mean something, but are actually complete nonsense. You’re Saying it Wrong on NPR)
 
Garden paths, crash blossoms, and other terrible ways of saying things  Sometimes what we say or write can be grammatically correct but still make no sense whatsoever. “The horse raced past the barn fell.” Huh? Welcome to the wonderful world of garden path sentences, crash blossoms (Stolen Painting Found by Tree), & a bit of antanaclastis. You’re Saying it Wrong on NPR)
 
Autumn Mailbag! Now that we’re out of summer, it’s finally cooled down enough for us to go outside to check the mailbox! We tackle listener questions like “is it enamored OF or enamored BY?” and talk about the new phrase that’s apparently catching on — “whom of which.” (Yeah, we don’t get it either, but it’s happening!) You’re Saying it Wrong on NPR)
 
The dictionary’s newest words (part 2) More of the newest words just added to dictionaries. Rage farming, pessimize, and hallucinate (but in a new way!) — and one old word just added (snite?!?). Also a huge serving of humble pie for one of us (well, Kathy) — no way to whitewash that! (You’re Saying it Wrong podcast on NPR
 
The dictionary’s newest words It’s time to take a look at the newest words being added to the dictionary — Jugging! Cakeage! Greenwashing! And, of course, nepo baby! Where’d they come from and what do they actually mean … and are they REALLY dictionary-worthy? (You’re Saying it Wrong podcast on NPR)
 
 Grammar thingies  It’s time for the Little Irritating Language Things that Always Trip Us Up! That vs which, who vs that, may vs might, “an historical” or “a historical.” Arrgh! (You’re Saying it Wrong podcast on NPR)
 
 
 
You’re Spelling It Wrong 2023 It’s nearly back-to-school time … so we get in the spirit with a spelling bee with some of the most commonly misspelled words in English. Can you spell them right? (You’re Saying it Wrong podcast on NPR)
 
The words of summer We’re talking summer adjectives this episode. Not basic ones like hot or sticky, but COMPLICATED ones like estival (not festival!), apricate & spoondrift. What do they mean & where did they come from? It’s hot fun in the summertime with cool words on YSIW! (You’re Saying it Wrong podcast on NPR)
 
Around the World in 30 Minutes It’s time for some globe-hopping to some of the world’s most problematically pronounced places, sent in to us by listeners! From Aix-en-Provence to Lodz to Ptuj … how do you say it right?!?! (You’re Saying it Wrong podcast on NPR)
 
 
 
You’re telling me that’s English?? (Part 2)  Having been bamboozled by Kathy and Ross in the previous episode, Fletcher resolves to get at one question right this time around. Don’t hold your breath, Fletch. (You’re Saying it Wrong podcast on NPR)
 
You’re telling me that’s English??  With the words we use in English coming from so many different languages, Kathy and Ross challenge Fletcher to a quiz about word origins. And somehow we end up talking about both bazookas and grenades, so things escalate quickly. (You’re Saying it Wrong podcast on NPR)
 
Let’s do a grammar quiz!  Which is right?: “The majority of them are here” OR “The majority of them is here.” Yes, it’s grammar quiz time on YSIW! Can you get these right? (You’re Saying it Wrong podcast on NPR)
 
Road trip!  We take a trip through some of the most commonly mispronounced places in the good ol’ USA. Mackinac? Spokane? And what’s the deal with Cheesequake? Hop in! Things might get a little bumpy …     (You’re Saying it Wrong podcast on NPR)
 
That used to mean what??!  It’s Words that Meant Different Things time! We’re talking about words that started out with rather different meanings when they first entered the English language … like guy, condescension and … meat. Yes, meat!  (You’re Saying it Wrong podcast on NPR)  
 
We did it by (on?) accident! A listener question forces us to take a hard look at how we use prepositions. Do you stand ON line or IN line? ( And does something happen ON or BY accident?  And why can’t we do things BY purpose?   (You’re Saying it Wrong podcast on NPR)
 
 
 
The twisted world of bureaucracy  Having tried to wrap our heads around the world of academic language, we now take a stab at trying to untangle the meaning of phrases bureaucracies and corporations produce as they try to sound fancy (and avoid legal trouble). (You’re Saying it Wrong podcast on NPR)
 
In the hells of academia This week’s podcast: prompted by a listener question, we try (“try” being the key word) to make sense of the dense overbloated verbiage that is academese. (You’re Saying it Wrong podcast on NPR
 
Mailbag day! We head back to the mailbag to answer some listener questions, We cover a grab bag of things we’ve been asked — from the genesis of “woke, to why balls career instead of careen, plus a quick look at something common in English and only about 1% of other languages: the very bossy R.(You’re Saying it Wrong podcast on NPR)
 
 
That still doesn’t mean what you think it means, part 2 Regimen vs regime, hysterical vs hilarious, the REAL meaning of prodigal vs its current use, & other words that are changing even as we use them. (Culled from our book That Doesn’t Mean What You Think It Means, just out as an audiobook!)  (You’re Saying it Wrong podcast on NPR)
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That still doesn’t mean what you think it means A look at some of the words we wrote about in  That Doesn’t Mean What You Think it Means that continue to confuse people — from ambivalent to chronic, pristine to random, emigrate to immigrate, not to mention e.g. and i.e. (You’re Saying it Wrong podcast on NPR)
 
The Staying Power of Slang  A lot of slang words only last a year or two, but others stick around. We take a look at some that have stood the test of time, and it turns out a lot of them are older than we realize. (You’re Saying it Wrong podcast on NPR
 
Penguin-Random House This Is the Author Podcast  We talk about recording the audio books of You’re Saying it Wrong, That Doesn’t Mean What You Think It Means, and Awkword Moments 
 
Searching for meaning in Gen Z slang  The old people try their hand at sussing out the meanings of Gen Z slang words, although we all remain skeptical that actual people in Gen Z use any of these words. Groovy! (You’re Saying it Wrong podcast on NPR)
 
 
Gray Area for Gray Matter: On the Time Einstein’s Brain was Stolen — A Quest for the Biological Basis of Genius (excerpt on LitHub from our book A History of the World Through Body Parts)