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Play it By Ear

When we agree to make a decision later, we might say we’re going to “play it by ear.” What’s the origin of that phrase? This is part of a complete episode.

Scottish cringe

Scottish cringe  n.— «Over the past week, as it became clear a decision on Megrahi’s future was imminent, many Scottish pundits and opposition politicians were consumed by what is called the Scottish cringe—the idea that some decisions are...

Netflix divorce

Netflix divorce  n.—Gloss: A decision by a couple to have two Netflix accounts instead of one. «Netflix does not know how many of its accounts are for individuals and how many are for couples. There has been at least one “Netflix divorce,”...

echelon plowing

echelon plowing  n.— «The decision reverses a previous policy of DOT Region 7 that was initiated along with a new plowing technique this winter. That technique, called echelon plowing, stalls traffic behind sets of plows moving in tandem...

ticktock

ticktock  n.— «As to whether he backed Mr. Geithner’s decision to introduce the bank bailout plan before arriving at specifics, Mr. Summers, well schooled in Washington’s ways, invoked newspaper slang for behind-the-scenes...