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80 minutes | Jun 16, 2021
EP. 46: Revenge
Have you ever wished that you could punish all those other podcasts who waste your time with pointless speculation? Welcome back to Extreme Vocabulary, where our success has caused such consternation among our peers that our very existence is vengeance itself. On today’s episode we take revenge out on all the other podcasts with Abe’s research on today’s word as well as a poetry reading by Efren of a work by Heid E. Erdrich titled “Ghost Prisoner.” And just in case you still demand satisfaction, we choose a Pearl Jam song to go out on. So don’t just wait for the scales of justice to weigh in your favor, take things into your own hands on today’s episode of Extreme Vocabulary!
82 minutes | Jan 24, 2021
EP. 45: Conundrum
You are at a crossroads. Should you listen to this podcast, where we take a deep-dive into our word of the day, which was created as a joke? Or should you watch another episode of Cobra Kai, where every time you try to do the right thing, things just get worse? Some might call this some kind of conundrum, and we hope that you choose to do the right thing, and listen to us as we answer some classic conundrums before discussing the conundrums of our times. Abe does the research, and Efren brings a poem by George Bowering, and Aaron and Josh still don't know what to do all on this episode of Extreme Vocabulary.
74 minutes | Nov 24, 2020
EP. 44: Maudlin
Have you ever had a friend who seems to show up at all the most important moments of your life? If your name is Jesus, that friend is probably Mary Magdalene; or so the story goes. But what does Mary Magdalene have to do with today's word? Well, as it turns out, everything and almost nothing at all. Sometimes we give birth to things that have nothing to do with us. It's enough to make you cry, really. Efren brings a poem by Linda Gregerson. And we read a letter by Joshua Clover, whose poetry was featured on this very show. Our adventure keeps getting bigger, and our vocabulary keeps getting more extreme, but you don't have to take my word for it. Join us today.
61 minutes | Sep 20, 2020
Ep. 43: Mezzanine
What do John Wilkes Booth, Home Depot workers, and Pinterest Boards have in common? Mezzanine, of course. In the middle of our life's journey, we sometimes encounter fancy and laborious words like mezzanine. But we're here to help. In this episode, we talk about elevated floors and why upper-middle class people fantasize about them on Pinterest Boards, and why Home Depot workers fall from them, and why John Wilkes Booth had to traverse one to commit his horrible deed. Efren brings a poem about mezzanines and personal identity, and Aaron chooses today's song. So, come join us up here on the mezzanine called Extreme Vocabulary!
77 minutes | Jul 24, 2020
Ep. 42: Miracle
What if I told you that miracles happen everyday? What if Abe also told you that's really not a big deal because the etymology of the word reveals that miracles aren't about anything unusual anyways? In today's episode, we venture into discussions of consciousness, the Christmas story, and the power of movies. Efren brings a piece of literature from Jorge Luis Borges, and Aaron does the hosting. This was a liveshow so thanks go out to anybody who joined us on our Zoom call, especially Hugo, who helped us choose the song. Were the times good? Well, they were a miracle.
58 minutes | Jul 2, 2020
Ep. 41: Loot
On today's episode we look at the history of this rich word. Aaron hosts the guys as they react to recent news events by looking up a word. Abraham has done the research revealing its various definitions over the years, and discovers that the Oxford English Dictionary has not updated its entry to show how the word is often used today. Efren brings us a great poem by Lenelle Moise, and Josh edits out a curseword, all on this episode of Extreme Vocabulary.
54 minutes | Jun 2, 2020
Ep. 40: Sartorial
On today's episode we ask you a sexy question: What are you wearing? As we talk about the word Sartorial, we discuss scientifically engineered clothes, TC Surf Designs, pretending to be upper class, comfortability, double-breasted suits, kimonos, hamstrings, the ridiculousness of rock star clothing, and the philosophy of clothes in general. We also discuss how COVID-19 has changed our clothing style. Efren brings a fashionable poem by Eileen R. Tabios about the white-collar working class. Josh chooses ZZ Top. And Abe and Aaron wear their hair big. So put on some pajamas and get comfy with Extreme Vocabulary!
70 minutes | Apr 3, 2020
Ep. 39: Commune
In this second of our two-part series, we think about communism's root word commune. We ask, what can humans commune with? What is left of the commons? Air? Water? Desert? And Efren offers Planet Fitness as a utopian model of communism. Wait! Hear us out! Efren brings a poem by Brian Komei Dempster, Abe tells us about the Paris commune, Josh tells us about the E.T. Atari games in the desert, and Aaron teaches us how to commune with each other here on Extreme Vocabulary!
56 minutes | Feb 27, 2020
Ep. 38: Capital
Today's episode is the first of a two part discussion on the opposing terms CAPITAL and COMMUNE, roots of the words capitalism and communism. And you bet that our discussion will rattle your head as we take on the debate between capital and commune! Abraham looks at the many definitions of capital from head, to pillar, to manuscripts, to economic value. Meanwhile, Efren brings us poem by Joshua Clover. Who will win the debate between capital and commune? It depends. What do you value, dear listener?
66 minutes | Dec 8, 2019
Ep. 37: No Word
Today we take a break from our normal format to reveal tiny slivers of our identities and lives. Also, some number of impressions are made. Don't get knocked down, get up again, and enjoy this episode.
54 minutes | Oct 27, 2019
Ep. 36: Blunt
On today's episode, we are missing Aaron so we lose our edge as we discuss today's not-so-sharp word, BLUNT. So join us as we consider the history of how warfare generates our metaphors, insults make us dance, and salsa inspires the salivary glands for us all. Abe takes us back in time through the origins of this word, while Efren brings a recent example from a work of literature by Justin Torres.
51 minutes | Sep 29, 2019
Ep. 35: Abstract
Today we find ourselves at the precipice between what is symbol and what is phenomena, and we discuss how words and numbers help us crossover from our crude matter into our minds and back out into the cosmos. Art itself supports and is supported by today's word. We also discuss weighty philosophical matters such as, what is the best time to eat a banana? And what the definition of is is. Abe did the researdch, while Efren brings us a piece of literature from Hector Tobar, and we choose a piece of music too. In the end though, it's really hard to say how anything really ever happened.
49 minutes | Aug 18, 2019
Ep. 34: Skulduggery
This is no act of deceit or treachery, this is a real episode of Extreme Vocabulary, where we define one of the least rooted words we've ever had. Join us to learn the tale of how a Scottish word came to be used to describe a sex crime in old catholic documents, only to be later used to describe financial crimes in our own century. Then join us for one two many impressions, a poem by Vachel Lindsay, and our most musical moment ever.
47 minutes | Jul 28, 2019
Ep. 33: Ubiquitous
Psst! It's us. We're right behind you. And in front of you. And also in these tiny wafers. That's right we are using our godlike powers to reach you yet again for another episode of Extreme Vocabulary. On this episode, we study another word with its roots in religious history. Then, we take a listen to some wise words by Borges.
49 minutes | Jun 26, 2019
Ep. 32: Sonder
On this episode, The Extreme Vocabularians find a recently-coined word and critique its poetic, philosophical, and psychological possibilities. In other words, we hate it. But even though this word is new, it has a mysterious and disputed history that you may have insight into. And in the spirit of coining new words, Abe and Josh decide to coin their own with interesting results. Efren finds a tumblr blog, and Aaron wisely curates today's music selection. But don't just feel the depths of our reality, join it, by listening to today's episode of EXTREME VOCABULARY!
48 minutes | May 18, 2019
Ep. 31: Defenestrate
Word recommender and guest host, Renee joins Extreme Vocabulary this week for a discussion on one of the deadliest words we've ever featured. Tracing this word's histories back to the time of the Reformation, we learn about how people used DEFENESTRATION as a particularly effective way to remove a religious authority from power? Is there a way to DEFENESTRATE things in our own time? Efren brings us a meditation on today's word from Elijah Matthew Tubbs, author of In Through a Door, out a Window, and we all contemplate the many reasons we might find ourselves flying out a window. So, come to our window and join us for another great episode of EXTREME VOCABULARY.
50 minutes | Apr 14, 2019
Ep. 30: Us and Them
Hey it’s US again! But if we’re US, then who is everybody else? In our great tradition of defining words that we already know, we are going with a couple of the first words we learn. Are they also some of the first words humans conceptualized? If so, what does that mean for the way we build society around us? Efren brings a poem by David Tomas Martinez, and we choose a straight classic jam to go out with. To find out, don’t listen to THEM, listen to US!
54 minutes | Mar 16, 2019
Ep. 29: Breath
By now, you can probably see where this is going. By analyzing the origins of today's word, we uncover some ancient associations with it that exist to this day in some magical way. Yeah, we've been doing this for a while now, so it's almost as easy as BREATHING. Efren brings some poetry from Walt Whitman, Aaron brings Andre the Giant, Josh forgets his lines, and Abe reveals his vulnerabilities, all on today's EXTREME VOCABULARY.
49 minutes | Feb 12, 2019
Ep. 28: Party
Cowabunga! We're here to PARTY and do our best to explore the mystery of words. Today's word has lots of definitions and tons of applications. So whether you are a member of a party, at a party, interested in hunting, or a just person who just likes, you may have enjoyed using today's very fun word. Efren is here once again with some poetry by William E. Stafford, and we answer emails. Don't worry if you didn't bring any snacks, we got everything you need on EXTREME VOCABULARY.
50 minutes | Jan 2, 2019
Ep. 27: Antidisestablishmentarianism
Today’s episode tells the story of how the King of England set in motion a series of events that would create what is arguably the longest word in the English language (even if it’s mostly suffixes and prefixes). Then, we pluck this word from its historical context and see if it holds any relevance for the hip kids of today. Efren brings us a short story by Gayle Pemberton, Aaron shows off his knowledge of history, Abe does the research, Josh does bad accents, and we all get together to tell the kids to get off our lawn on today’s episode of EXTREME VOCABULARY.
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