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Episode 1600

Go Bananas

A caller wonders if she’s being hypersensitive about the way her boss addresses her in emails. Can the use of an employee’s first name ever reflect a power differential? And: a community choir director wants a term for “the act of...

Episode 1538

Little Shavers

The word hipster might seem recent, but it actually originated in the 1930s when it referred to jazz aficionados who were in the know about the best nightclubs and cool music. Speaking of music, a professional musician reports that it’s...

Basque, A Language Isolate

The state of Idaho has a large community of Basque speakers. Their native tongue is what’s known as a language isolate, meaning one that is not historically connected to those around it. This is part of a complete episode.

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...

Unicycles

A unicycle enthusiast wonders if his unicycle can be properly called a bike. To avoid the four-syllable mouthful, the unicycle community (yes, there is one) sometimes calls it a uni, but for the general public, the term “bike” works...