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Pants on Fire

A highly anticipated children’s book and the epic history behind a familiar vegetable: fans of illustrator Maurice Sendak eagerly await publication of a newly discovered manuscript by the late author. And speaking of children’s...

What Makes a Sandwich?

Is a hot dog a sandwich if it’s in a bun? Why or why not? Is a burrito a sandwich? (A Massachusetts judge actually ruled on that question in 2006.) What about a veggie wrap? These kinds of questions about the limits and core meanings of...

Dictionaries: Print to Online

A Chicago-area listener wonders: When dictionaries go from print to online, are any words removed? What’s the best print dictionary to replace the old one on her dictionary stand? For more about dictionaries and their history, Grant recommends...

Tennessee Top Hat

It’s hard enough to get a new word into the dictionary. But what happens when lawmakers get involved? New Jersey legislators passed a resolution as part of an anti-bullying campaign urging dictionary companies to adopt the word upstander. It...

Upstander

Plenty of people write to dictionary editors asking for words to be added. It almost never works. But what if politicians make a special request? To urge adoption of the term upstander, as in “the opposite of bystander,” to honor those...

Definition of Introvert

An introvert in Baltimore, Maryland, is unhappy with an online definition of introvert, and is speaking up about wanting it changed. The definition describes an introvert as someone preoccupied with their own thoughts and feelings—such as a selfish...

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