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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...

Paging Dr. Armstrong

Some medical facilities use a secret code when the staff needs assistance to handle an unruly or agitated visitor. When the message Paging Dr. Armstrong goes out over the speaker system, it’s a call for this kind of help. This is part of a...

Cipher and Secret Letter Code

Great news for scavenger-hunt designers, teenage sleepover guests, and anyone else interested in being cryptic! The old-school commercial codes used for hiding information from the enemy in a telegraphs is at your fingertips on archive.org. Have fun...

Crankshaft and Basketbrawl

Grant offers examples from his latest words of the year list, including Crankshaft (the code name for the Osama Bin Laden), and basketbrawl, referring to the fight that broke out between the Georgetown Hoyas and the Chinese National Team. This is...

Kentucky Fried Vista

Ciao! In this week's archive episode: If your family has guests over, how do you warn each other if one of you has a stray crumb on the face? Some families do so with the surreptitious code phrase, "There's a gazelle on the lawn."...

When Words Collide

A hazy, hot, and humid hello! In this week’s archive episode, we take on headlines that make you do a double take, such as “Child’s Stool Great for Use in Garden” and “Milk Drinkers Turn To Powder.” We discuss a...