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Eastern Seaboard, West Coast

Shadowdabbled. Moon-blanched. Augusttremulous. William Faulkner often used odd adjectives like these. But why? Grant and Martha discuss the poetic effects of compressed language. Also, African-American proverbs, classic children’s books, pore...

A Roberta of Flax

We have collective nouns for animals, like “a gaggle of geese,” “a pride of lions,” and “an exaltation of larks.” So why not collective nouns for plants? How about a “greasing of palms,” or a...

One Space or Two?

Hola, che! In this week’s episode, it’s a game about food names! (“What would you serve to a plumber?” “Leeks.”) We also discuss how to correct a new sweetheart’s grammar, “infracaninophile,”...

Word Up!

What would you serve a plumber who comes over for dinner? How about … leeks? The hosts play a word game called “What Would You Serve?” Also, can you correct someone’s grammar without ruining a new relationship? And is there...

A Walk Spoiled But Our Lie is Good

If English isn’t your first language, there are lots of ways to learn it, such as memorizing Barack Obama’s speech to the 2004 Democratic Convention. Martha and Grant talk about some of the unusual ways foreigners are learning to speak...

buildinglet

buildinglet  n.— «If you’ve ever parked by the marina in Flushing to see a Mets game, you may have been struck by the whimsy and drama of two white shelters that sit by the bay, structures that look as if their creator had been issued the...