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An 11 O’clock Showbiz Numbers

In theatrical parlance, an 11 o’clock number is a showstopping tune late in a musical, which usually coincides with the protagonist or other major character having a life-changing realization. An example would be the song “So Long...

Swag, Meaning Bunting

Marian in Norfolk, Virginia, says a character in the new Downton Abbey movie uses the term swag meaning either “bunting” or “stuff,” and wonders if its use in the film is a linguistic anachronism. In fact, swag was used with...

Mr. Cream Cheese

A Massachusetts listener shares her mishearing the name of the beloved character Mr. Green Jeans on the old Captain Kangaroo TV show. She was in college before she realized his name wasn’t Mr. Cream Cheese. This is part of a complete episode.

Fictional Character Brain Puzzle

Quiz Guy John Chaneski’s puzzle involves dropping a letter from a fictional character to form the name of a new one. For example, if the clue is: He once used the Force to turn people to the Dark Side, but now all he does is hang out in bars...

Strong Like Bull

A woman in Fairbanks, Alaska, says she’s been described as strong like ox, smart like streetcar. Is that a compliment? Other variations include strong like bull and smart like tractor or smart like dump truck. The phrase strong like bull was...

Is there a Difference Between Hanged and Hung?

An opera singer from Ontario, Canada, just finished a run of La Faniculla del West with the Virginia Opera. His character is put to death by hanging. Is it correct to say his character was hanged? Or was his character hung? This is part of a...

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