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All Verklempt - 30 October 2017

All Verklempt - 30 October 2017

Of all the letters in the alphabet, which two or three are your favorites? If your short list includes one or more of your initials, that's no accident. Psychological research shows we're drawn to the letters in our name. And: if you doubt that people have always used coarse language, just check out the graffiti on the walls of ancient Pompeii. Cursing's as old as humanity itself! Plus, just because a sound you utter isn't in the dictionary doesn't mean it has no linguistic function. Also: verklempt, opaque vs. translucent, chorking, bruschetta, mothery vinegar, and a goose walked over your grave. FULL DETAILS Psychological research shows that when it comes to letters of the alphabet, people tend to like their own initials, perhaps because of a sense of ownership. This phenomenon is called the name-letter effect. A listener in Sheboygan Falls, Wisconsin, wonders about the origin of the word verklempt, which describes someone all seized up with emotion. This Yiddish term enjoyed a surge