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Recurrence vs. Reoccurrence

Which is the better term, recurrence or reoccurrence? A look at the corpus of American literature confirms that recurrence is far and away the more commonly used word denoting “something that occurs more than once.” This is part of a...

Faulknerian Adjectives

William Faulkner used adjectives like shadowdabbled, Augusttremulous, and others that can only be described as, well, Faulknerian. Grant and Martha trade theories about why the great writer chose them. The University of Virginia has an online audio...

Keep Your Tail Over the Dashboard

This week, McGimpers, geetus, and other underworld lingo from the 1930s. Crime novelist James Ellroy stops by to talk slang terms and reveals his own favorite. Also, is the expression “Hear, hear!” or “Here, here!”? Is it...

Novel Novels Word Quiz

Quiz Guy John Chaneski has a word puzzle called “Novel Novels,” in which he gives clues to the names of novels similar to familiar ones, except for one letter. Try this one: “This offbeat novel is based on an incident concerning a...

waps

waps  n.pl.— «We never get to see much during a streak, do we? There’s always some copper there with his fucking helmet, sticking it over the fanny, and some doddering old get dressed in Union Jack clothes to put his coat over her waps...