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Wannabes

Chuck in Dallas, Texas, is a member of an online group of Winnebago Solis owners and would-be Winnebago Solis owners. They’re having a big debate over whether the would-be RV owners are properly called wannabees with two Es or wannabes with...

Worst Line in the West

The winner of the Western category of the 2021 Bulwer-Lytton Contest, which rewards cleverly awful first lines of fiction, explains what happens when Tumbleweed Mulligan and Johnny “Trigger” McAllister take over the Black Dog Saloon for...

Snow Falling Before the Autumn is Through

Miles from Madison, Wisconsin, is musing about whether there’s a single word or phrase for the time of year when it snows while leaves are still on the trees. One jocular term for snow falling on leaves during that liminal period is snowliage...

Other Meanings of “Brainstorm”

Marlena from Dallas, Texas, was surprised to see the word brainstormdefined in an old dictionary as “a violent, transient mental derangement manifested in a maniacal outburst.” That indeed was the sense of this word in the late 19th...

Blame Tutivillis, the Writers’ Demon

If you’ve ever sent a really important email and only later caught an embarrassing misspelling right there in the message header, there’s no longer any need to blame yourself. Blame Tutivillis, the medieval demon who introduced errors...

Skell Slang

Will, an emergency medical technician in Queens, New York, offers this bit of lingo from his line of work: skell, meaning a “lowlife.” In South African slang, the word skelm means the same thing. Will and his colleagues also use the term...

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