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Arts & Culture

Arts and culture

Have you ever heard of the "needs washed" construction? That's when the verb "need" is followed by a past participle like "washed" or "fixed" without "to be." For example, "That dish needs washed."

Two listeners recently wrote to us about this. One says she started to hear it when she moved to Michigan and the other after moving to northwest Ohio.

Both say it's driving them crazy.

There have been a lot of studies of "needs washed" as a regional feature in American English. While the epicenter seems to be western Pennsylvania, particularly Pittsburgh, it can also be found in portions of Michigan, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois and West Virginia.

Blue Lake Pass by Maya Lin undulating sculptures of tan particleboard
G.R. Christmas / Courtesy of Pace Gallery

The artist and architect Maya Lin is best known for her work designing the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington D.C. Lin designed that monument in 1981 when she was still a college senior. Since then, she’s gone on to design numerous buildings, sculptures, and landscape installations around the world.

Lester Graham

It’s sad when the bottle is nearly empty. That’s what Tammy Coxen of Tammy’s Tastings found when she visited a friend’s house for a party and the bottle of Ann Arbor Distilling Company's new Absinthe Violette was almost gone.

“What have you done to go through that much absinthe?” she asked. The reply was they had been making Necromancers. 

Robert Jones and Matt Wotruba
Mercedes Mejia / Michigan Radio

The Reverend Robert Jones and Matt Watroba first met while hosting back-to-back music shows at a public radio station in Detroit.  

That chance encounter bloomed into a friendship rooted in a mutual love for acoustic roots music that's still going strong more than 30 years later.

We get tons of great questions about language from our listeners. The problem is we only get to answer one or two per week.

This week, we're doing things a little differently. We give you the That's What They Say lightning round. 

cover of Undocumented: Great Lakes Poets Laureate on Social Justice
Michigan State University Press

Undocumented: Great Lakes Poets Laureate on Social Justice is the title of a new anthology showcasing regional poets laureate. Our reviewer John Freeman walks us through this new collection of poetry.

Undocumented: Great Lakes Poets Laureate on Social Justice is an anthology that acknowledges old questions about whether poetry can affect social change.

Abdallah Jasim on stage
Razi Jafri

 


His slogan is: "Chemical engineer by day, funny guy by night".

Abdallah Jasim found his footing in the comedy scene after posting a video about how Arabs catch mice went viral. Since his viral debut, Jasmin has found a following for his comical Instagram videos, and performed stand up sets across America and Canada. 

rehearsal of University of Minnesota Duluth's production of Time's Up
Brett Groehler

Today on Stateside, we talk to Michigan Congresswoman Elissa Slotkin (D-Holly) after her meeting with U.S. Education Secretary Betsy DeVos about proposed changes to Title IX rules on campus sexual assault. Plus, how the advent of camper trailers helped drive the establishment of Michigan’s state park system.

picture of people sitting next to a trailer
Michigan History Center

 

In the early 1900s, not long after the invention of the automobile, people began hitching trailers to their bumpers for road trips around the country. 

In writing, punctuation makes it easy to see when the writer is quoting someone else. What's interesting is that we've figured out a way to incorporate that punctuation into our speech.

This week's topic comes from a listener who asked about saying "quote" before a quote and "unquote" at the end. He thinks "end quote" makes more sense than "unquote." While there's certainly an argument to be made about which closing is more logical, the truth is that "unquote" is now more popular than "end quote."

Lester Graham / Michigan Radio

The first thing you hear is the sound of the blacksmith pumping the bellows to make the fire in the forge hotter.

We’re at the Delano Homestead at the Kalamazoo Nature Center because there’s a small shed where a volunteer shows visitors how a homestead blacksmith might work. But he’s better known for what he forges. His name is Gabriel Paavola.

a blue index card with information and photos of the wrestler Toni Rose
Courtesy of the Michigan History Center

Today on Stateside, amidst a rise in hate crimes against both Jews and Muslims in the world, leaders of both faith communities in Southeast Michigan are coming together to find common ground in fighting against that hate. Plus, why the state of Michigan once had a registry of pro-wrestlers like Andre the Giant and Bruno Sammartino.  

Muslim and Jewish leaders in SE Michigan stand together to combat rise in hate

In May 1968, Michigan Daily student photographer snapped a photo of Robert F. Kennedy shaking the hand of a young African-American girl in Detroit. Three weeks later, Kennedy was assassinated. When the photo resurfaced half a century later, it brought together the photographer and little girl in his photo together.

We talk to that photographer, Andy Sacks, and the girl in the photo, Michigan Medicine nurse Sybil Martin, about what they remember about the day, and how they reconnected more than 50 years after the photo was taken.

cover of Saint Peter and the Goldfinch by Jack Ridl with a yellow goldfinch and title on cover
Wayne State University Press

Award-winning Michigan poet Jack Ridl has a new collection out called "Saint Peter and the Goldfinch." Our reviewer Keith Taylor says the West Michigan wordsmith explores a necessary, but often overlooked, subject: Getting old.


Some of us can't resist muttering or shouting our language's strongest words in moments of anger, pain or shock. However, we also realize there are situations that require us to keep our vocabulary clean.

Fortunately, there's a variety of alternatives to choose. From "gosh" and "darn" to "fudge" and "fiddlesticks," there's a G-rated euphemism to suit just about any situation.

When it comes to versatility, we think that "heck" really stands out.

Lester Graham / Michigan Radio

You might have left the Cosmopolitan cocktail behind after the HBO TV series which made it famous stopped production. But, just as Sex and the City is still a bit of a cultural phenomenon, so is that drink.

When Tammy Coxen with Tammy’s Tastings discovered Ann Arbor Distilling’s Water Hill cranberry liqueur, she was inspired to make a Michigan version of the Cosmo that she’s calling a "Michipolitan."

picture of an old lead pipe.
Michigan History Center

 


On April 25th, 2014, officials switched Flint’s drinking water supply from the Detroit city system to the Flint River. Without proper corrosion control treatment, the river water corroded the city's pipes, leaching lead into the drinking water of thousands of Flint residents.

This Thursday will mark the fifth anniversary of that historic moment for Flint. 

Lester Graham / Michigan Radio

Megan Williams is a member of a vibrant community of people in Grand Rapids making all kinds of things. Williams works in textiles.  

“Textiles to me is anything with fabric, and I named my company Adventure Textiles because it's whatever I'm experimenting with in textiles," Williams said, adding, "There's so many things to experiment with in the textile category. So I started off with dyeing and that quickly moved to weaving and spinning and felting and everything together. And combining them is what I love to do most.”

In her new collection of poems, Goodbye Toothless House, Michigan writer Kelly Fordon takes aim at the idealized facade of marriage and motherhood. Ann Arbor-based poet and writer Keith Taylor has this review for us.

It appears that as of today, there isn't much concern about the phrase "as of."

Perhaps that's because it's such a simple phrase. Two words, two letters each, nothing flashy.

But this is That's What They Say, and when Michigan Radio's chief engineer Bob Skon asked us about the distinction between the phrases "as of today" and "as from today," we had to check it out.

Lester Graham / Michigan Radio

“I was really excited to come across this cocktail called the Jesper Lind in the Death and Company cocktail book because it really gave me an opportunity to highlight three really nice Michigan ingredients in a cocktail,” said Tammy Coxen of Tammy’s Tastings.

Two men in conservation officer uniforms smile and eat pancakes in a steamy barn
Kaye LaFond / Michigan Radio

 

Maple sugaring season is just wrapping up in northern Michigan. This delicious tradition of boiling maple sap to make syrup is practiced in the state on many scales.

But indigenous communities in the area were tapping trees long before settlers arrived.

U.P. Poet Laureate writes poems inspired by place

Apr 10, 2019

 

Marty Achatz was more than a little surprised to be nominated as the Upper Peninsula Poet Laureate for a second time.

"I was absolutely flabbergasted," he says. "Stunned for a couple days."

 

Regardless of what Achatz says, the Ishpeming native is a fan favorite for a reason. Reading his poems you can feel the pangs of heartache and moments of joy in equal measure.

Recently, English Professor Anne Curzan was giving a talk in Washington about reduplication. In reduplication, a form is repeated in a straightforward way, like "no-no" or "boo-boo," or with a vowel change like "flip-flop" or "mish-mash."

During Curzan's talk, someone in the audience raised their hand and said, "You keep using the word 'reduplication.' Isn't that redundant? Why don't you just say 'duplication'?"

Fair question.

jonathan kirkland
Bella Isaacs / Michigan Radio

If you aren’t one of the countless people who’ve seen, listened to, and obsessed over Hamilton, you've probably at least heard of it.

Lin-Manuel Miranda's groundbreaking biography-turned-musical has enamored countless audiences in the nearly four years since it began playing off-Broadway. In September 2016, the show opened in Chicago, where it has run eight shows every week.

Talking about the weather can be about so much more than sunny days and stormy nights.

Last week, we talked about the subtle routines we follow when opening and closing a conversation.

This week, we decided to look at the interesting roles weather can play in those routines.

The Quietest of Whispers, a symphony inspired by the experiences of sexual abuse survivors, will be performed at Central Michigan University this Sunday evening. Composer Evan Ware joined Stateside to discuss how the hundreds of girls and women who came forward as survivors of Larry Nassar's abuse influenced the work, and how music has been a tool for his own healing as a survivor.

picture of Dudley Randall working at a Typewriter
Bentley Historical Library

 


An original copy of a manual exploring African-American life in early 20th century Michigan. Poetry from African-American literati printed on one-page broadsides by a pioneering Detroit publishing house. These are two of the treasures of Michigan’s African-American history housed at the Library of Michigan. 

March Madness begins this week. The huge college basketball tournament starts with 68 teams and will eventually end with one national champion. But for some in northern Michigan, March Madness means more than basketball. For 10-year-old Ricky Bristol, who lives in East Jordan, it means practicing his violin.


Even when it comes to the most interesting conversations, there's usually a routine to how they start and how they end.

Think of how your conversations usually start. Generally, you don't just walk up to someone or call them on the phone and immediately start talking about something specific.

You usually say something like "hello" or "hey" or "what's up?" to get things going. Sometimes you might even make your opener a question like, "Hi, how are you?"

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