You call the repairman to fix a balky garage door, but when he gets there, it inexplicably works. You summon a plumber, only to find that when he arrives, your toilet’s no longer leaking, and you’re out $150. Or you discover that somewhere between your home and the doctor’s office, your kid’s sore throat miraculously healed. A caller in Traverse City, Michigan, is tearing her hair out over this phenomenon, which she calls phixophobia. But, she asks, might there be an even better word for the way inanimate objects seem to conspire against us? We think so: resistentialism. This is part of a complete episode.
- Up Your Alley (episode #1504) 07/30/2018: Book recommendations, including a collection of short stories inspired by dictionaries, and a techno-thriller for teens. Or, how about novels with an upbeat message? Publishers... [more]
- Piping Hot (episode #1503) 07/23/2018: The game of baseball has alway inspired colorful commentary. Sometimes that means using familiar words in unfamiliar ways. The word stuff, for example, can refer... [more]
- Mimeographs and Dittos (episode #1502) 06/24/2018: In this episode: How colors got their names, and a strange way to write. The terms blue and orange arrived in English via French, so... [more]
- Spicy Jambalaya 06/18/2018: Teen slang from the South, and food words that are tricky to pronounce. • High schoolers in Huntsville, Alabama, told Martha and Grant about their... [more]
- Chopped Liver 06/10/2018: There's a proverb that goes "beloved children have many names." At least, that's true when it comes to the names we give our pets. "Fluffy"... [more]