This week on “A Way with Words”: We often hear that English is going to hell in a handbasket. Actually, though, linguistic handwringing about sinking standards and sloppy speech has been going on for centuries–at least as far back as the 1300’s! And: language also changes to fit the needs the workplace. Take, for example, the slang of flight attendants. Listen on your next trip, and you might overhear them talking about landing lips, flying dirty, or crew juice. Plus, a discreet phrase from Arabic for advising someone that he has food in his beard. All this, plus a word game based on Paul Simon’s “50 Ways to Leave Your Lover,” dead as a doornail, the green-eyed monster, and learning that fat meat is greasy.


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