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whatifery

whatifery  n.— «I am glad that my hon. Friend has admitted what I believe was going through many of our minds—that we are baffled by the Minister’s explanation of what the clause is trying to do. I am certainly baffled. I suppose that the...

Language Headlines (minicast)

The world of politics tops this week’s language headlines, including an explanation of the Bradley effect, and the ongoing debate over bilingual education. Also, what does the word fubsy mean? Grant has the answer and reports about a new...

An Estival Festival of Summer (minicasts)

This week we kick off our 2008 summer minicasts, offered only online, with two downloads. It’s what we’re calling an estival festival. We hear a lot about political candidates these days. But did you ever stop to think about where the...

Nuremberg defense

Nuremberg defense  n.— «“I was only following orders.” It’s perhaps the most infamous explanation offered by military members accused of crimes, invoked by defendants from Nazi Germany to Abu Ghraib. Now, the so-called Nuremberg...

twenty-minute takeout

twenty-minute takeout  n.— «The “security check” used by the CIA to prepare a detainee for transport on a rendition plane was described to us by one source in the American intelligence community as a “twenty-minute takeout.” His...

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