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Episode 1590

Primary Colors

Centuries ago, monks who took a vow of silence developed their own hand signs, with hundreds of gestures, that are still in use today. Plus, how do speakers of different languages distinguish similar shades and tints of colors such as red, yellow...

Episode 1600

Go Bananas

A caller wonders if she’s being hypersensitive about the way her boss addresses her in emails. Can the use of an employee’s first name ever reflect a power differential? And: a community choir director wants a term for “the act of...

Applause with Mucus and Salt

In a lovely essay on the shared experience of theater audiences, Wesley Morris, critic at large for The New York Times, memorably describes weeping in the dark with fellow audience members as offering “applause with mucus and salt.” This...

scatter ad

scatter ad  n.— «Chief Executive Officer Leslie Moonves said on a conference call yesterday that CBS’s larger audience is countering the slightly lower prices per viewer for advanced ad sales, keeping revenue about even for the so...

cutty

cutty  adj.— «In striking that balance between spontaneity and propulsion, most editors strive to leave no fingerprints, content to create an emotional experience for the audience that’s at once seamless and immersive. Editors have a word...