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Cootie Shot

Perfect sentences and slang that tickles your mind! A new book of writing advice says a good sentence “imposes a logic on the world’s weirdness” and pares away options for meaning, word by word. • Your musician friend may refer to...

Cats and Dogs

It’s cats and dogs, and a few other critters, too. Animals prowl around inside several English words, including sleuth, which was originally sleuth-hound, a synonym for bloodhound. Plus, the language we use with our pets and the ways they...

Pronouncing Bury

Stacy in Eureka, California, wonders: what’s the proper way to pronounce the word bury? Should it rhyme with jury or cherry?  This is part of a complete episode.


A woman in Eureka, California, is curious about the term bailiwick. It comes from a Middle English word for bailiff, and wik, a Middle English word that means dwelling and is related to several English place names, such as Gatwick and Norwich. This...

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