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Flatter than a Gander’s Arch

Jim in Sacramento, California, was reading The Good Detective (Bookshop|Amazon) by John McMahon, when he came across a description of the Georgia countryside as flatter than a gander’s arch. Just how flat was it, and what’s a...

A Lovely Bit of Writing About Autumn

Liam in San Francisco, California, emailed to share a passage from Donna Tartt’s novel, The Secret History (Bookshop|Amazon). It’s a sensuous description of the sights, sounds, and smells of autumn in Vermont. This is part of a complete...

Episode 1526

Abso-Bloomin-Lutely

The autocomplete function on your phone comes in handy, of course. But is it changing the way we write and how linguists study language? Also, suppose you could invite any two authors, living or dead, to dinner. Who’s on your guest list and...

Episode 1519

Keep Your Powder Dry

Jacuzzi and silhouette are eponyms — that is, they derive from the names of people. An Italian immigrant to California invented the bubbly hot tub called a jacuzzi. And the word silhouette commemorates a penny-pinching treasury secretary who lasted...

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