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On the use - and misuse - of common idioms and proverbs




Proverbs are an integral part of the English language — as in,
Proverbs are an integral part of the English language — as in, "birds of a feather flock together."
Stock photo by John Haslam/Flickr Creative Commons

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Actions speak louder than words. A picture is worth a thousand words. Birds of a feather flock together.

Proverbs are an integral part of the English language. Larry speaks with two language experts to find out how they’ve maintained their staying power, and why people go back to them over and over again.

Which new idioms or proverbs have you just learned? Which are your favorite phrases? Which do you absolutely detest? Call 866-893-5722 and let us know.

Guests:

Simon Horobin, professor of English Language and Literature at the University of Oxford. He recently wrote a piece for the online journal, “The Conversation,”on why some English phrases are so prone to misuse

Orin Hargraves, a lexicographer and author of the book on cliches called “It’s Been Said Before” (Oxford, 2014)