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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...

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...

flea

flea  n.— «A flea, in the parlance of medical students, is an internal medicine resident. And, by way of further explanation—here’s where the pejorative nature comes into play—a flea is “the last thing off a dying dog...

motarded

motarded adj. excessively stupid; in the military, enthusiastic to the point of stupidity. Editorial Note: Although there’s no shortage of jokes, puns, and misunderstandings about its similarity to “retarded,” a different...