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A New Year’s Word: Quaaltagh

Here’s a word to use each New Year’s Day: quaaltagh. It’s pronounced QUAL-tok, and comes from the Isle of Man. It means “the first person to show up at your door on the first day of the year” or “the first person...

His Mother’s Sayings

Brian in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, reports that whenever someone dropped a fork in his house, his mother would say Fork to the floor, company’s at the door. She’d also say If your palm itches, you’re going to come into money, and...

Qaaltagh

There’s a word for the first person to walk through your door on New Year’s Day. The word is quaaltagh, and it’s used on the Isle of Man. This Manx term is one of many linguistic delights in a book Martha recommends for word...

Capitalizing I

Does capitalizing the pronoun I feel like aggrandizing your own self-importance? Timna, an English Composition professor at an Illinois community college, reports that a student refused to capitalize this first person pronoun, arguing that to do so...