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Episode 1584

Sleepy Winks

It was a dark and stormy night. So begins the long and increasingly convoluted prose of Edwards Bulwer-Lytton’s best-known novel. Today the annual Bulwer-Lytton Contest asks contestants for fanciful first sentences that are similarly...

Get the Goody Out

Amelia in Arlington, Virginia, was surprised to hear her wife, who is from Iowa, use the phrase getting the goody out to describe someone sporting a well-worn pair of sweatpants, indicating that they were continuing to get the most out of that...

Episode 1574

Scooter-Pooting

Old. Elderly. Senior. Why are we so uncomfortable when we talk about reaching a certain point in life? An 82-year-old seeks a more positive term to describe how she feels about her age. And: a linguist helps solve a famous kidnapping case, using the...

To Scrape Acquaintance

George Orwell’s dystopian novel 1984 (Bookshop|Amazon) conjured the indelible image of Big Brother, the terrifying personification of an authoritarian state where all of one’s actions and thoughts are monitored. The book also helped...

Cursive in Schools

Our discussion about cursive handwriting and whether it should be taught in schools brought a tremendous response from listeners. Most agreed that there are so many benefits to learning to write this way that it’s well worth the time and...