What do you call the strip of grass between the street and the sidewalk? Depending on where you live, you may call it a tree lawn, a berm, a city strip, the parking, or one of a host of other regional terms for it. In a small part of the country, this narrow piece of land called a devil strip. In fact, this expression figures in a great story about forensic linguistics: When a linguist analyzed a ransom note and saw the term devil strip, he realized this was a telltale clue– one that would lead authorities right to the kidnapper. This is part of a complete episode.
- Life of Riley (episode #1533) 10/07/2019: Unwrap the name of a candy bar, and you just might find a story inside. For instance, one chewy treat found in many a checkout... [more]
- Off the Turnip Truck (episode #1532) 09/23/2019: It's hard to imagine now, but there was a time when people disagreed over the best word to use when answering the phone. Alexander Graham... [more]
- Loaded for Bear (episode #1531) 09/16/2019: One way to make your new business look trendy is to use two nouns separated by an ampersand, like Peach & Creature or Rainstorm &... [more]
- Mrs. Astor’s Horse (episode #1530) 07/29/2019: "What has a head like a cat, feet like a cat, a tail like a cat, but isn't a cat?" Answer: a kitten! A 1948... [more]
- At First Blush (episode #1529) 07/15/2019: Book recommendations and the art of apology. Martha and Grant share some good reads, including an opinionated romp through English grammar, a Spanish-language adventure novel,... [more]