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Wet Brick

What the fox says may be a mystery, but we do know that dogs bark differently around the world. In China, for example, they say not bow-wow but wang wang.  Also, the story behind the British tradition of scrumping. It’s not a middle...

It’s a Thing

Father Dominic from Chicago wonders when “It’s a thing” became, well, a thing. This is part of a complete episode.

Comic Sans

Why does everyone hate the Comic Sans? Well, maybe not everyone, but a lot of people dislike it. In fact, graphic designer David Cadavy gave a whole Ignite Chicago talk on the topic. This is part of a complete episode.

Serial Comma Haiku

Here’s another tweeted haiku from Liz Morrison in San Diego: “Serial comma/ Chicago yes, AP no/ You bewilder me.” This is part of a complete episode.

Better American Speech Week

On the occasion of National Grammar Day, University of Illinois linguist Dennis Barron has pointed out some arresting posters from a wartime version from the early 20th century. They’re from a 1918 Chicago Women’s Club initiative called...

Shank of the Evening

What time is it if it’s the crack of chicken? When exactly is the shank of the evening? How do you pronounce the word spelled H-O-V-E-R? Did Warren G. Harding really coin the word normalcy? Also, a name game, sports nicknames, flounder vs...

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