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A Capital Mistake

Jonah, a music teacher, in Baltimore, Maryland, shares a funny story about a student who misunderstood his question about the capital of his home state. That left Jonah wondering about the difference between the words capital and capitol. The former...

A Lowry Day

Irv in Putnam Station, New York, recalls his mother used to refer to a dismal, rainy day as a lowry, or lowery, day. What she probably meant is lowering, which describes a dark, foreboding sky, and may derive from a Germanic word that has to do with...

Stentorian Origin

The adjective stentorian, meaning “extremely loud,” comes from the name of brazen-voiced Stentor, a Greek herald in The Iliad, whose voice was said to be as powerful as that of 50 men. The noun and verb mentor come from The Odyssey. In...

Lethologica

Lethologica is the inability to remember a word or name. The term is related to the name of the river Lethe, also known as the River of Oblivion, which in Greek mythology caused those in Hades to to forget their life on earth. This is part of a...

The Bridge is Open but Closed

Chelsea says that after moving from the Midwest to Norfolk, Virginia, she was confused by traffic reports indicating that a local bridge was open. Turns out the bridge is a drawbridge, and by open, the announcers were saying that the bridge was...

Kwannon and Canon

The Japanese developers of an early camera named it Kwannon, in honor of the Buddhist goddess of mercy. Later, the company changed the name to Canon. This is part of a complete episode.

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