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Lie Like a Rug

The words we choose can change attitudes — and change lives. A swing-dance instructor has switched to gender-neutral language when teaching couples. He says that using words like “leader” and “follower” actually works better...

Gender Neutral Dance Terms

A swing-dance instructor in Burlington, Vermont, says gender-neutral language has been well-received in his own dance classes. Instead of the words man and woman, he now uses leader and follower. He reports this not only helps clarify his...

Eat the Grindstone

The books we love as children may influence our careers more than we realize. As a child, Martha was fascinated with stories of cracking codes, and Grant loved books with glossaries–not that far from the kind of work they do today. A caller...

The Blog Reads

Even though blogs can’t read and newspapers can’t speak, it’s totally appropriate to write “the blog reads,” or “the newspaper says.” This is part of a complete episode.

Writerly Insults

Sure, it’s scary to send your writing to a literary agent. But pity the poor agent who must wade through hundreds of terrible query letters a week! One of them shares excerpts from those hilariously bad query letters on a blog called SlushPile...

Bouncy House of Language

Some people proudly embrace the label cancer survivor, while others feel that’s not quite the right word. Is there a better term for someone who’s battled cancer? Writers and listeners share the best sentence they’ve read all day...

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