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One Stone, Two Mangos, and Lots of Correspondence

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Some gems in this week’s mailbag: Following up on our conversation with a caller hoping to promote less-violent alternatives to the phrase kill two birds with one stone, a listener who grew up in India wrote in with one from her native language. In Tamil, oru kallil iraṇṭu māṅkāy or ஒரு கல்லில் இரண்டு மாங்காய், also has to do with accomplishing something with minimal effort. Literally, it translates as “one stone, two mangoes,” suggesting that you could toss one stone at a tree to shake loose two mangoes. Also, Cynthia in Midland, Georgia, offers paint or get off the ladder! as an alternative to a coarser phrase urging someone to action. And responding to the call from an 11-year-old asking if there’s a word for “a road free of traffic,” a listener from Green Bay, Wisconsin, shares an amusing version used in his area. This is part of a complete episode.

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