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New Sports Word Game

For this week’s brain-stretching puzzle, our Quiz Guy John Chaneski invents some new sports by changing the first letter of a familiar pastime, then changing the rules. For example, in what new favorite sport are you allowed to punish an error...

Love or Like?

In his 1869 volume Vulgarisms and Other Errors of Speech, self-appointed grammar maven Richard Meade Bache gave specious advice against using the word love when you merely mean like. This is part of a complete episode.

Etymology of Pebble Picker

In baseball, a pebble picker, or pebble hunter, is a fielder who picks up a pebble from the ground after a missed catch, as if to blame the pebble for his own error. In the world at large, the term is a jab at someone who can never admit a mistake...

Steven Pinker’s Advice for Writers

Steven Pinker’s new book, The Sense of Style, which Martha cites among her all-time favorite books about writing, has just the right message: don’t worry so much about the errors, because you’ll make them, and if writing...