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Ranch Words In Urban Life

The other day I was trying to pull out on U.S. Route 281, and the traffic was so steady that I had to wait about three minutes for an opening. As I was waiting, my father’s voice came into my head and said, “Somebody left the gate open down there.” Dad’s been gone 30 years…

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Endangered Words

We have many endangered species in the world. Among the better-known at-risk animals are snow leopards, Asian elephants and orangutans. In Texas, we have the gray wolf and ocelot as endangered animals, among others. Endangered reptiles here include the Texas indigo snake and the horned lizard. But that’s not my focus today. That’s just a…

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Lingo for Gringos: Ten Spanish Words All Anglos Should Know

I call this commentary “Lingo for Gringos” mostly because it rhymes, but it should really be called “Ten Spanish Words all Texans Should Know.” I’m not talking about the easy words like cerveza, vino, tortilla, taco and baño. And I’m not talking about the common words you say every day that are actually Spanish words – patio, plaza,…

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Texas Demonyms: Dallasites, Victorians, and Everything In-Between

A demonym describes the inhabitants of a place. With so many cities and counties in Texas, it’s hard to keep track of who is what from where. Word scholar W.F. Strong has a helpful list to keep you on track. For places ending in “s”, add “-ites” Dallas – Dallasites Dumas – Dumasites For places…

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Words, They are a Changin’

Slang is the working class of words. Carl Sandburg said “slang is a language that rolls up its sleeves, spits on its hands and goes to work.” But slang is always changing. For an older guy like me, It’s hard to keep up with. Did you know that “on fleek,” “squad,” and “lit” are on…

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Listen: 12 More Words Texans Mispronounce

There are three kinds of Texans: those with an accent, those without an accent, and those who don’t think they have an accent, but do. About a year ago, I made a list of the 12 most commonly mispronounced words in Texas. Well, they weren’t absolutely unique to Texas – some were Southernisms, but they…

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How We Learn Language

How we learn language as infants and what that process can teach us about learning new languages later in life in this edition of Two Guys on Your Head with Dr. Art Markman and Dr. Bob Duke.

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