Word Maven

Talk of Iowa
1:42 pm
Thu June 19, 2014

Why Do We Call It Soccer?

The 2010 World Cup
Wikimedia Commons

Have you ever wondered where the word "soccer" come from and why we use it?

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Culture
2:48 pm
Tue April 15, 2014

"Grand Slam" Language Session: Baseball Terminology with Patricia O'Connor

Scott McLeod

Beanball, bender, bleeder, brushback, bull pen… baseball has a language all its own. Today on Talk of Iowa, English language expert Patricia O’Conner "plays ball." Host Charity Nebbe talks to O'Connor about baseball lingo and, of course, she answers your language questions.

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Talk of Iowa
11:34 am
Tue January 7, 2014

Words of the Year

Join host Charity Nebbe for this talk with Patricia O'Connor to talk about words of the year for 2013, and "banned words." What's your "word of the year"?

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Talk of Iowa
2:39 pm
Tue August 6, 2013

Words of Summer with the Word Maven

Michael Holler Flickr

Host Charity Nebbe and Patricia O'Connor, aka The Word Maven, discuss the words and phrases of summer.  O'Connor reveals the origins of dog days, bikini, lemonade and barbecue.

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Talk of Iowa
11:40 am
Tue April 2, 2013

How Watergate Shaped Our Language

f2point8 / flickr

Forty years ago this month Nixon’s top White House staffers, HR Haldeman and John Ehrlichman resigned over the Watergate Scandal.  On today's Talk of Iowa we talk about how Watergate changed our culture and our language with historian Colin Gordon and English language expert Patricia O’Connor.  

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Talk of Iowa
11:11 am
Tue October 23, 2012

Word Maven: Echoic Words

Deb Stgo / Flickr

Boom, shimmy, giggle, squeak… these words are called echoic words, words whose sound echo what they stand for. Host Charity Nebbe talks with English language expert Patricia O’Conner about these and other onomatopes that belong to the English language.

Arts & Culture
11:22 am
Thu August 2, 2012

The Word Maven

Words like tornado and Derecho fascinate and frighten and they both have surprising histories. Charity talks with English language expert Patricia O’Connor who looks at  the origins of weather related words.  Patricia answers all questions that relate to the English language.

Talk of Iowa
11:00 pm
Wed February 22, 2012

Word Maven: Great Movie Quotes

There are movie lines so iconic that not only does almost everyone instantly recognize them, but they’ve actually become a part of our lexicon. Today, Charity talks with English Language expert and Iowa native Patricia O’Conner about the movie lines that endure and shape our language. O'Conner is the author of a number of popular word books, including "Woe is I: The Grammarphobe's Guide to Better English in Plain English; Words Fail Me, and others.

Talk of Iowa
11:00 pm
Wed January 4, 2012

Word Maven: Beautiful Words

Henry James once said, “Summer afternoon, summer afternoon; to me those have always been the most beautiful words in the English language.” On today's Talk of Iowa we’ll talk about the words you think are the most beautiful...for what they mean or for how they sound. Language expert and Iowa native Patricia O’Conner is the guest. She is the author of the popular "Woe Is I: The Grammarphobe's Guide to Better English in Plain English" and several other language books.