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What are Good Terms for Old People?

Mary in Alexandria, Virginia, wonders when words like senior and senior citizen came to mean “elderly.” Senior comes from Latin senex, “old,” the source also of Senate and senile. In the 1930s, a politician helped popularize...

Thoreau Talks About Trees

A vast Corinthian column. A fair, flaxen-haired sister with golden ringlets. An old citizen of the town. A harp upon which the wind makes music. An athlete that shows its well-developed muscles. A great green feather stuck in the ground. These are...

citizen science

citizen science  n.— «The result is an impressively long-running example of “citizen science,” the term for projects in which amateurs gather field data for future research, making up in numbers what we lack in training and...

howdy process

howdy process  n.— «Vivian, who arrived at the old Central Texas Zoo in 1966 as a teenager from the wild, had literally bitten the heads off two previous suitors. But the third time was the charm: Vivian reacted well during the “howdy”...

checkbook charity

checkbook charity  n.— «During good times, our donors have set aside significant charitable dollars, and now are able to tap those funds when they are needed most.…It demonstrates how donor advised funds can help people go beyond...

war-fighter

war-fighter  n.— «According to Anderson, improving soldiers” digestive health is a primary concern for the U.S. Army because “war-fighters”-a term used to describe members of all the military branches-have long suffered...

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