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Halfway Between Depression and Euphoria

John in Bismarck, North Dakota, wants a word that describes a neutral state of emotion, specifically the midpoint between depression and euphoria. Is that insouciant? Apathy? Zen? Affectless? What’s wrong with plain old neutral? This is part...

Working Titles

Would some Hollywood classics still have been box-office hits if they’d stuck with their original names? Take Anhedonia, which later became Annie Hall. Or $3000, which became Pretty Woman. And can you guess the eventual title of the movie...

Shoestring Budget

A shoestring budget is a spending plan that’s as thin and spindly as a shoestring. Not surprisingly, the term gained popularity during the Great Depression. This is part of a complete episode.

The Great Recession

Should the Great Recession be talked and written about as a proper noun? Recessions tend to be vague in their scale and timelines, so it’s problematic to mention them as proper nouns. Perhaps the similarities in sound between Great Recession...

obsessive housing disorder

obsessive housing disorder  n.— «As Washington grapples with the current mortgage crisis, advocates from both parties are already warning the feds not to relax their commitment to expanding homeownership—even if that means reviving the...

vitamin P

vitamin P  n.— «Considering her own history of depression—Vincent had been taking “Vitamin P” (better known as Prozac) for years—she anticipated her mental health might suffer.» —“Norah Vincent spent a year disguised as a...