Grammar is in vogue. The statistics don't lie. The Grammar Girl (iTunes - Feed - Web Site) remains one of the most popular podcasts on iTunes, and The Grammar Grater (iTunes - Feed - Web Site) is holding its own. From grammar, it's just a short step to words, to etymology. And, today, we want to highlight Podictionary (iTunes - Feed - Site) for you. It's a "word-of-the-day" podcast that spends an easy three to five minutes surveying the history of common words in the English language. (This makes it useful for native and non-native speakers alike). Its creator, Charles Hodgson, has so far tackled over 600 terms, which means that he's amassed an extensive audio archive that you can access here.
And his work on words doesn't stop there. Hodgson recently published a new book called Carnal Knowledge: A Navel Gazer's Dictionary of Anatomy, Etymology, and Trivia (St. Martin's Press). Far from pedantic, the book uses engaging prose and fun facts to tease out the meaning of words we use to describe our bodies. The whole body gets covered here, from the "eye" to the "simian line" to the "gullet," and it goes straight down to the nether regions, too. For more information, spend some time with the blog that accompanies the new book.