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Stories from Texas

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September 22, 2021

Texas And The Art Of Understatement

By: Laura Rice

Yes, everything may be bigger in Texas. And Texans are used to being pegged as exaggerators — the tellers of tall tales like Pecos Bill who roped tornadoes and shot stars from the sky. But Texas Standard commentator W.F. Strong says a characteristic of Texas conversation that doesn’t get nearly the attention it deserves is the frequent use of understatement.


Episodes

October 6, 2021

The Young Lieutenant Who Crossed the Wild Horse Desert

American history sometimes snuggles up close with what might be better termed American mythology. Take that story about a young George Washington chopping down a cherry tree. But other bits of history based quite a bit more in fact are less well known -- though just as extraordinary. Texas Standard commentator WF Strong offers up one such story.

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September 22, 2021

Texas And The Art Of Understatement

Yes, everything may be bigger in Texas. And Texans are used to being pegged as exaggerators -- the tellers of tall tales like Pecos Bill who roped tornadoes and shot stars from the sky. But Texas Standard commentator W.F. Strong says a characteristic of Texas conversation that doesn't get nearly the attention it deserves is the frequent use of understatement.

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September 8, 2021

Words That Migrated

I showed a friend of mine a picture of me sitting at the edge of a thin ridge jutting out, about 300 feet above the Pecos River. He said, "I can't look at that, it gives me the willies." Oh, yes, the willies, goosebumps and shiverings triggered by our phobias.  As an amateur linguist, I'm always wondering where certain expressions come from. How did the words end up as common words in English? The willies, for instance, has a fascinating derivation. Frontiersmen, you see, used to wear wool undergarments, but as they were made of wool, they often got itchy…

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