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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...

O U R A FUN E 1

A listener in Cairns, Queensland, Australia shared this brain teaser: 11 was 1 racehorse/ 22 was 1 2 / 1111 race / 22112. It may look mystifying, but when you sound it out correctly, it makes perfect sense. The Ha Ha Bonk Book (Bookshop|Amazon) is...

Episode 1560

Snaggletooth

Many of us struggled with the Old English poem “Beowulf” in high school. But what if you could actually hear “Beowulf” in the English of today? There’s a new translation by Maria Dahvana Headley that uses contemporary...

Episode 1542

Baby Blues

A hundred years ago, suffragists lobbied to win women the right to vote. Linguistically speaking, though, suffrage isn’t about “suffering.” It’s from a Latin word that involves voting. Plus: military cadences often include...