A restaurant review in the Myanmar Times describes a steak that “could not have been more middle-of-the-road if it was glued to a cat’s eye.” This analogy makes sense only if you know that “cat’s eye” is a term for the reflective studs in the middle of a road that help drivers stay in their own lanes. This is part of a complete episode.
- Boss of Me 06/17/2017: If you want to be a better writer, try skipping today's bestsellers, and read one from the 1930's instead. Or read something besides fiction in... [more]
- Sunny-Side Up 06/10/2017: Baseball has a language all its own: On the diamond, a snow cone isn't what you think it is, and three blind mice has nothing... [more]
- Naked as a Jaybird 06/05/2017: What's the best way for someone busy to learn lots of new words quickly for a test like the GRE? Looking up their origins can... [more]
- Hot Dog, Cold Turkey 05/29/2017: Why do we call a frankfurter a hot dog? It seems an unsettling 19th-century rumor is to blame. Also, if someone quits something abruptly, why... [more]
- Hell for Leather 05/13/2017: Victorian slang and a modern controversy over language and gender. In the early 1900's, a door-knocker wasn't just what visitors used to announce their arrival,... [more]