Grant reviews notable words and phrases from 2017. One is path of totality, meaning the part of the earth completely covered in shadow when the moon blocks the sun. Another is milkshake duck, which arose from a tweet by Australian cartoonist Ben Ward. Milkshake duck encapsulates the idea that in the age of social media, people can become suddenly famous and admired, only to suffer a swift fall when unsavory information about them swiftly comes to light. Ward’s popular comic strip is called “One Giant Hand.” This is part of a complete episode.
- Happy as Larry 01/22/2018: New research shows that you may be less influenced by superstitious behavior like walking under ladders or the magic of four-leaf clovers if you're reading... [more]
- A Shoo-in 01/13/2018: This week it’s butterflies, belly flowers, plot bunnies, foxes, and cuckoos. Also, writing advice from Mark Twain and a wonderful bit of prose from Sara... [more]
- Noon of Night 01/06/2018: As a kid, you may have played that game where you phone someone to say, "Is your refrigerator running? Then you better go catch it!"... [more]
- Naked as a Jaybird 12/30/2017: What's the best way for someone busy to learn lots of new words quickly for a test like the GRE? Looking up their origins can... [more]
- Hot Dog, Cold Turkey 12/23/2017: Why do we call a frankfurter a hot dog? It seems an unsettling 19th-century rumor is to blame. Also, if someone quits something abruptly, why... [more]