A professional shoemaker in Columbiana, Ohio, wonders why the words cobbler and cobble have negative connotations, given that shoemaking is a highly skilled trade. The notion of cobbling something together in a haphazard or half-hearted way goes back to the days when a cobbler’s task was more focused on mending shoes, rather than making them. But Grant quotes a passage from Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar in which such a tradesman articulates the nobility of his profession: “I am, indeed, sir, a surgeon to old shoes; when they are in great danger, I recover them. As proper men as ever trod upon neat’s leather have gone upon my handiwork.” This is part of a complete episode.
- Dessert Stomach 05/14/2018: Funny cat videos and cute online photos inspire equally adorable slang terms we use to talk about them. • Also, when a salamander is not... [more]
- Far Out, Man 04/30/2018: What other names could a team use if they realize it's time to give up calling themselves the "Redskins"? Also, what should we call those... [more]
- Brollies and Bumbershoots 04/16/2018: If you think they refer to umbrellas as bumbershoots in the UK, think again. The word bumbershoot actually originated in the United States! In Britain,... [more]
- Cool Your Soup 04/09/2018: According to Nigerian writer Chinua Achebe, it's important to master the basics of writing, but there comes a time when you have to strike out... [more]
- Put on the Dog 04/02/2018: Why isn't "you're welcome" the default response to "thank you" for everyone? Plus lies that kids tell, Philadelphia lawyer, cowbelly, skutch, mind-bottling vs. mind-boggling, tsundoku,... [more]