Carol from Falmouth, Massachusetts, is curious about this bit of wisdom from her father: As you travel through life, whatever your goal, keep your eye on the doughnut, and not on the hole. The Mayflower Coffee Shop chain, based in New Jersey and New York in the 1920s and 1930s, had a similar slogan. Word historian Barry Popik has collected other versions, including Between optimist and pessimist, the difference is droll. The optimist the doughnut sees, the pessimist the hole. An earlier version: As you ramble through life, Brother, whatever be your goal, keep your eyes upon the doughnut and not upon the hole. This is part of a complete episode.
- Mystery Drawer (episode #1555) 10/12/2020: Amid court-ordered busing in the 1970s, a middle-school teacher tried to distract her nervous students on the first day of class with this strange assignment:... [more]
- Deviled Eggs (episode #1554) 09/14/2020: Some TV commercials launch catchphrases that stick around long after the original ads. The exclamation Good stuff, Maynard! is still a compliment almost 40 years... [more]
- Play It by Ear (episode #1553) 08/31/2020: How does social context shape our perception of language? When hiking the Appalachian Trail, a young woman from Wyoming found that fellow hikers assumed she... [more]
- Moon Palace (episode #1552) 08/17/2020: What happens in a classroom of refugee and immigrant youngsters learning English? Their fresh approach to language can result in remarkable poetry — some of... [more]
- Online Event August 27, 2020: Lemonade, Anyone? 08/04/2020: ... [more]