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Episode 1588

East Overshoe

Some people work hard to lose their accent in order to fit in. Others may be homesick for the voices they grew up with and try to reclaim them. How can you regain your old accent? Also, a compelling book about scientific taxonomy shows how humans...

Naming Nature

For a fantastic read about the history of taxonomy and the ways we use language to try to divide up and impose order on the world, check out Naming Nature: The Clash Between Instinct and Science (Bookshop|Amazon) by science writer Carol Kaesuk Yoon...

Starting from Scratch

Carol in Williamsburg, Virginia, wonders why if you bake something and don’t rely on pre-mixed ingredients, you’re said to bake it from scratch. This expression originally referred to a line scratched into the ground to mark the starting...

Keep Your Eye on the Donut

Carol from Falmouth, Massachusetts, is curious about this bit of wisdom from her father: As you travel through life, whatever your goal, keep your eye on the doughnut, and not on the hole. The Mayflower Coffee Shop chain, based in New Jersey and New...

flitillary

flitillary  n.— «The erratic, zigzagging flight of courting and songbird-evading fritillaries prompt some people to refer to them as “flitillaries.” Actually, the genus name probably derives from fritillus, a cylindrical cup used by the...