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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...

Strangers on a Training

In the game of appending -ing to a movie title to change its plot, the movies Strangers on a Train and Network both become films about corporate life. This is part of a complete episode.

The Little Price

Another #bookswithalettermissing joke: Have you read the book about how 99 cent stores are changing the way we shop in America? It’s called The Little Price. This is part of a complete episode.

Put That in Your Pipe and Smoke It!

Which came first, orange the color or orange the fruit? And what’s a busman’s holiday? Martha and Grant talk about bumbershoots, brollies, nursery rhymes, and alternatives to the word unicycle. Plus, an app-inspired quiz, favorite...

Boo-Boo the Fool

Who is Boo-Boo the Fool? A listener wonders if this African-American character has any relation the Puerto Rican fool, Juan Bobo. Martha draws a connection to the Spanish term bobo, meaning “fool,” and its Latin root balbus, meaning...

Meteoric Rise

Why do we say someone whose career on the ascent is enjoying a meteoric rise? Don’t meteors plummet? For that matter, a caller asks, why do we call “heads up!” when a ball is coming towards us? Shouldn’t it be “heads...

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