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Puns in the Headlines

When President Barack Obama had the Oval Office redecorated in soft browns and beige, The New York Times headline read: “The Audacity of Taupe.” The hosts discuss how puns work, and what makes them clever. Martha recommends John...

Days of Wine Flights and Mullets

Barack Obama wants to put people to work building roads and bridges. But how about a federal jobs program for out-of-work writers? Also: why do we call it a flight of wine? How did the haircut called a mullet get its name?

Wet Behind the Ears

Why do we say that someone is inexperienced is “wet behind the ears”? The hosts tackle that question, and discuss whether Barack Obama misspoke during the 2008 presidential campaign when he used a similar expression, green behind the...

Unusual Ways to Learn English

If English isn’t your first language, there are lots of ways to learn it, such as memorizing Barack Obama’s speech to the 2004 Democratic Convention. Martha and Grant talk about some of the unusual ways foreigners are learning to speak...

Birther

Birther  n.— «Bill Clinton had the Vince Foster “murder.” George W. Bush had 9/11 Truth. And the new administration has brought with it a new culture of conspiracy: The Birthers. Out of the gaze of the mainstream and even the...

pooled spray

pooled spray  n.— Note: Describes the same event as this citation for spray. «Mr Obama’s team, however, said that there never had been plans for anything but only a pooled spray, in which a handful of journalists pose questions in a more...