The Word Guy / Knowledge

Unscrambling Some Common 'Eggs'pressions

Is there any connection between the phrase "egging someone on" (inciting someone to action) and actual eggs?

You might assume this term comes from throwing eggs at people to goad them into action. Or perhaps it derives from whipping up a crowd, ...

Giving Letters the Silent Treatment

Should you pronounce the "t" in "often"? The "l" in "almond"? Though "often" was pronounced with a "t" sound until the 1600s, doing so today conveys a whiff of pretension.

Traditionally, the "l" in "almond" was silent (AH-mund), but recently ...

Extra! Extra! Headlines Take Headers!

Readers often send me collections of funny headlines, but I don't use them in my column because I can't verify their authenticity. But when a reader recently sent me photographs of actual headlines as they appeared in newspapers, I decided to ...