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Whitewater Rafting Words

Whitewater rafting has a rich tradition of jargon and slang that includes such terms as boulder garden, strainer, and drop pool. This is part of a complete episode.

Lord Byron on Language

Lord Byron continues to make readers think with these words about language: “But words are things, and a small drop of ink, falling like dew, upon a thought, produces that which make thousands, perhaps millions, think.” This is part of a...

Mustard On It

When does a word’s past make it too sensitive to use in the present? In contra dancing, there’s a particular move that dancers traditionally call a gypsy. But there’s a growing recognition that many people find the term gypsy...

Gypsy Dance Move

There’s a long tradition in contra dancing of a particular move called a gypsy. Many people now consider the term gypsy offensive, however, because of the history of discrimination against people of Romani descent, long referred to as gypsies...

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...

Space Between Rain Drops

A listener from California says her family’s way of remarking on rain is to mention the space between falling drops. So a 12-inch rain means there’s about a foot between one drop and the next. Tricky, huh? This is part of a complete episode.

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