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That Old-Book Smell

You walk into a used bookstore, or pull down an old volume at the library, and there it is: The smell of old books. If you detect notes of vanilla in that intoxicating scent, there’s a reason. Also, why some people think the word awesome is...

An Urgent Request

Dear friends and listeners, As we near the end of our biggest year yet, we must raise $75,000 before 11:59 PM, December 31st. Reaching that goal will mean covering fixed costs: Broadcast studio rental. A sound engineer and board operator. Website...

Catch My Fade

If you’re sending out party invitations, what’s a sure-fire way to get hold of everyone? Email? Snailmail? Facebook? Texting? Twitter? Or a plain old-fashioned phone call? Different folks have different communication preferences, and...

Blinky Cheese

When something’s blinky, it smells bad enough to make you blink. Spoiled pimento cheese, for example, can be blinky. The origin of blinky is uncertain, although it may derive from on the blink, as in “not working correctly.” This...

Listener Eponymous Law

A listener who works as a proofreader for academic texts wrote in with his own eponymous law that, like the academic texts the law addresses, is way too long to transcribe here. This is part of a complete episode.

Etymology of Catch My Fade

“Catch my fade,” meaning, “I’m going to beat you up,” takes from a 100-year-old usage of fade. To fade someone meant to punish, beat, or conquer another. This is part of a complete episode.