Rebecca in Austin, Texas, wonders why the terms cold sore and fever blister describe pretty much the same thing. Also, why do we say we have a cold, but we have the flu? The word flu comes from the Italian word for influence, influenza, and is a reference to an old belief that a contagious illness was influenced by celestial movements. This is part of a complete episode.
- Queen Bee (episode #1550) 07/13/2020: An artist asks strangers to write haiku about the pandemic and gets back poetic, poignant glimpses of life under lockdown. Plus, the new book Queenspotting... [more]
- Navel-Gazing (episode #1549) 06/29/2020: In 1971, when a new public library opened in Troy, Michigan, famous authors and artists were invited to write letters to the city's youngest readers,... [more]
- Yak Shaving (episode #1548) 06/08/2020: There was a time when William Shakespeare was just another little seven-year-old in school. Classes in his day were demanding — and all in Latin.... [more]
- Cabin Fever (episode #1547) 04/21/2020: The adjectives canine and feline refer to dogs and cats. But how does English address other groups of animals? Plus, cabin fever has been around... [more]
- Singing Sand (episode #1546) 04/06/2020: Cat hair may be something you brush off, but cat hair is also a slang term that means "money." In the same way, cat beer... [more]