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Episode 1532

Off the Turnip Truck

It’s hard to imagine now, but there was a time when people disagreed over the best word to use when answering the phone. Alexander Graham Bell suggested answering with ahoy! but Thomas Edison was partial to hello! A fascinating new book about...

Fair Game Origins

The term fair game, meaning someone or something that’s a legitimate target for criticism derives from old laws governing the hunting of wildlife. This is part of a complete episode.

Episode 1508

Take Tea for the Fever

Silence comes in many forms. Writer Paul Goodman says there is, for example, the noisy silence of “resentment and self-recrimination,” and the helpful, participatory silence of actively listening to someone speak. • The strange story...

Jackpot Origin

The word jackpot can denote the pile of money you win at a game of poker, but another definition is that of trouble, tangled mess, or a literal logjam. This is part of a complete episode.