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Episode 1537

Bug in Your Ear

Is there something inherent in English that makes it the linguistic equivalent of the Borg, dominating and consuming other languages in its path? No, not at all. The answer lies with politics and conquest rather than language itself. Plus: a new...

tire buster

tire buster  n.— «Another thing that we’ve done is we’ve implemented emergency response teams and these guys are able to go out within 24 hours and address any hole that are sometimes referred to as “tire busters,” those holes...

grasshopper effect

grasshopper effect  n.— «Every human in the world carries in his or her body traces of POPs, which circulate globally through a process known as the “grasshopper effect” and include such chemicals as dioxins, furans, DDT and PCBs, which...

iceberg disease

iceberg disease  n.— «Experts commonly refer to it as an “iceberg” disease. Visible at the tip are individuals whose symptoms include diarrhea, abdominal pain, weight loss and, in children, delayed growth. The rest of the...

cash for keys

cash for keys  n.— «Contractors say the damage at vacant homes can be significant, though it is not always clear who the culprit is. It could be an angry homeowner upset about losing a home, but it also could be vandals and thieves...

frost law

frost law  n.— «The Hillsdale County Road Commission announced seasonal weight and speed restrictions will go into effect on county roads as of Monday morning.…Stan Clingerman, Road Commission engineer manager, said the more commonly...