Author: Ray Belli

Ray Belli
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Full Bio : Ray Belli is the host of Words for Granted, a podcast that looks at how words change over time. He is also a professional drummer and part-time ESL teacher.

Episode 60: Wales

The English name for the country of "Wales" is not native to Wales itself. It was named by AngloSaxon settlers in Britain as a...

Episode 59: Proper Place Names (General Overview)

Today's episode kicks off a new series on "toponymy," or the study of place names. In this general overview, we take a look at...

Episode 58: Gymnasium

Nowadays, a “gym” is a place for fitness and exercise. It’s a shortening of the word “gymnasium,” which ultimately derives from the Greek word...

Episode 57: Category

In the court system of Ancient Athens, the kategoria was a formal accusation. However, when the philosopher Aristotle borrowed the word kategoria to enumerate...

Episode 56: Apology

The Modern English word "apology" derives from the Ancient Greek word "apologia." However, in the Ancient Greek work "Plato's Apology," Plato doesn't "apologize" for...

Episode 55: Sophisticated

In Modern English, "sophistication" is a desirable characteristic. However, the word derives from "sophistry," an Ancient Greek intellectual movement with a historically bad reputation....

Episode 54: Philosophy

In the pre-modern world, "philosophy" referred to all forms of intellectual knowledge. Today, the discipline of "philosophy" is just one aspect of the traditional...

Episode 53: They

The pronoun "they" was borrowed into English from Old Norse. It's an odd borrowing because within a given language, the words for pronouns tend to remain...

Episode 48: History of English Grammar (General Overview)

To be or not to be? Well, if you're conjugating the verb, you're most likely using a form that does not sound like "to be." "To...

Episode 49: To Be

To be or not to be? Well, if you're conjugating the verb, you're most likely using a form that does not sound like "to be." "To...