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We’ve come a long way!

In 2007, the public media organization that created A Way with Words had a problem. They loved our show but a deep recession meant the station couldn’t afford to keep producing it. So they canceled it. That could have been the end of A Way...

Copacetic

Brand names, children’s games, and the etiquette of phone conversations. Those clever plastic PEZ dispensers come in all shapes and sizes—but where did the word PEZ come from? The popular candy’s name is the product of wordplay involving...

Who Is She From Home?

Who is she from home? meaning “What’s her maiden name?” is a construction common in communities with significant Polish heritage. It’s what linguists call a calque — a word or phrase from another language translated literally...