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Time Machine

After Sarah moved from Wisconsin to Iowa, she sparked some momentary confusion when she asked a store clerk where his TYME machine was. In parts of Wisconsin, Florida, and Michigan there are automated teller machines, or ATMs, called TYME machines...

Episode 1537

Bug in Your Ear

Is there something inherent in English that makes it the linguistic equivalent of the Borg, dominating and consuming other languages in its path? No, not at all. The answer lies with politics and conquest rather than language itself. Plus: a new...

Neonatal Unit Jargon

Katie in East Thetford, Vermont, shares medical slang and jargon from her work in the neonatal intensive care room at a hospital, including doorbell for “an alarm”; giraffe, “a special bed with controls for heat and...

Episode 1526

Abso-Bloomin-Lutely

The autocomplete function on your phone comes in handy, of course. But is it changing the way we write and how linguists study language? Also, suppose you could invite any two authors, living or dead, to dinner. Who’s on your guest list and...

Chronophagous WOMBAT

Chronophagous is a rare word that means “time-consuming.” WOMBAT is an acronym that stands for Waste of Money, Brains, and Time. This is part of a complete episode.

Episode 1511

Care Package

Sending someone a care package shows you care, of course. But the first care packages were boxes of food and personal items for survivors of World War II. They were from the Committee for American Remittances to Europe, the acronym for which is CARE...