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Episode 1526

Abso-Bloomin-Lutely

The autocomplete function on your phone comes in handy, of course. But is it changing the way we write and how linguists study language? Also, suppose you could invite any two authors, living or dead, to dinner. Who’s on your guest list and...

Sailing Slang and Jargon

After hanging out with San Diego sailing enthusiasts, Martha picked up several bits of slang and jargon. Catenary describes the desirable curve of an anchor chain, from Latin catena, meaning “chain.” A chain that is not pulled up...

beam blade

beam blade  n.— «What about your wiper blades? We are seeing fewer cars with blades in brackets that resemble a bridge. Snow has a way of jamming the bracket hinges, leaving only a narrow contact patch with the windshield. Winter blades...

tail risk

tail risk  n.— «“Tail risk,” as it is known to quantitative traders, for where it falls in a bell-shaped probability curve. Tail risk, broadly speaking, is whatever financial cataclysm is believed by markets to have a 1 percent chance or...

curve bender

curve bender  n.— «He had a pretty good start, weighing in an ounce shy of 9 pounds so you couldn’t call him a low-birth, high-growth “curve bender,” as they say in the cattle catalogs. He’s more of a high-birth, high-growth...

scamdicapper

scamdicapper  n.— «Despite criticism on many Internet posting forums, those services which are considered the worst of the worst—for which the sobriquet “scamdicapper” was coined—continue to flourish. Apparently a vast number...