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Episode 1601

Funny Papers

There are word nerds, and then there’s the woman who set up a folding chair on sidewalks throughout the country, cheerfully dispensing tips about grammar. She recounts her adventures in a new book. And the story of the brilliant pioneer of...

Why “Merry” Christmas?

Why must Christmas be merry, but no other holiday? What if you want a merry birthday? While merry‘s heyday was the 1800s, you still see the term, meaning “exuberant” or “joyful,” in phrases like go on your merry way or...

Coursers They Came

Sweet baby reindeer! It’s almost Christmas and we’ve got a lot of wrapping to do. Last weekend’s episode is live online and in iTunes. In it, we shared quotations about writing, talked about whether “ladies” is...

Full-Deckisms

“Not the brightest bulb in the Christmas tree lights,” “The wind is blowing but nothing’s moving,” “A few tacos short of a combo platter.” After Grant tells a story on himself, the hosts discuss euphemistic...

hang iron

hang iron  v. phr.— «During snowstorms in Portland, Ore., before Christmas, Kelley had to chain up, or “hang iron” as he calls it. “It takes two hours to hang my iron.”» —“Road closures make a costly wait for...