A new story from A Way with Words: language, linguistics, and callers from all over
You're listening to a way with words, the show about language and how we use it. I'm grant Barrett. In our Martha Barnett, here's a word I just added to my vocabulary, and you might want to add it to if you don't know it, will it wallop us? Well, what did the doctor say cause that? A will of us wallopers, which is wi P U.S. hyphen. In the late 19th century, a will of us wallop us was this vague legendary monster with lots of legs that supposedly haunted the American south. But soon after it became a term that applied to a steamroller or some similar large machine that you'd use on the road, any large piece of road equipment. And I was just looking at a 1932 newspaper that talked about the town's municipal wallopers. I've been thinking about willa plus Wallace for any large thing my dog bear is getting a really big. And I heard myself call him will up his wallop us the other day. Yeah, that's a cute term, right? Well, I'm wonder if in the fanfic world, if anybody has written about Willis Wallace, and I'm thinking about fanfic because the word I've come across recently, I didn't know I needed it. But boy, did I? It's the opposite of caps lock. The opposite of caps lock. Yeah, so instead of putting down the caps key and typing everything in all capital letters, it's lapse lock where you don't type anything in capital letters, not even the first letter of a sentence, or someone's name, or the pronoun I lapse like LA PS LLC. And it's the kind of thing that a fan fiction writer might do to kind of set their style or set their tone. You might see it on AO three, the website archive of our own. And it's particularly of a kind of term that you would use when somebody should have used capitalization.