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Episode 1543

Goody Two-Shoes

She sells seashells by the seashore. Who is the she in this tongue twister? Some claim it’s the young Mary Anning, who went on to become a famous 19th-century British paleontologist. Dubious perhaps, but the story of her rise from seaside...

Mary Anning Sells Seashells

She sells seashells by the seashore. The shells she sells are seashells I’m sure, so if she sells seashells on the seashore, then I’m sure she sells seashore shells. Some claim that this tongue twister is about the early life of 19th...

kettle

kettle  v.—Gloss: To surround and contain protesters. Note: Also a noun. «When you’ve been kettled once, there’s no excuse for failing to notice police lines forming around you the next time you’re on a demo – and moving before...

Antipodes and Grooks (minicast)

A listener in Brazil challenges Martha’s pronunciation of the odd English word antipodes. Their email exchange leads Martha to muse about a favorite collection of poems, where she first encountered this word.

tramp dread

tramp dread  n.— «My excuse is that, as a freelance journalist, I do not receive any paid holiday. If I stop working, the money stops coming in—and my finances are so precariously balanced that simply forgoing one week’s wages could bring...