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Episode 1504

Up Your Alley

Book recommendations, including a collection of short stories inspired by dictionaries, and a techno-thriller for teens. Or, how about novels with an upbeat message? Publishers call this genre up lit. Plus, a clergyman ponders an arresting phrase in...

Episode 1547

Cabin Fever

The adjectives canine and feline refer to dogs and cats. But how does English address other groups of animals? Plus, cabin fever has been around much longer than the current pandemic. That restless, antsy, stir-crazy feeling goes back to the days...

Aggressive Piglet Jokes

In Hungarian, there’s a whole genre of silly jokes that have to do with an agresszív kismalac, or “aggressive piglet.” Each joke ends with an absurd punchline shouted obnoxiously. There are collections of these jokes online, as...

Episode 1492

Gung Ho

The origins of the peace symbol, why we say someone who’s enthusiastic is gung ho, a tasty spin on stuffed foccacia that originated in eastern Sicily, curling parents, sharking and other words for driving around a parking lot looking for a...

John’s Genre Word Game

After noting how similar the word genre sounds to his own first name, Quiz Guy John Chaneski crafted a quiz that involves replacing the letters gen- with John- to form an entirely new word. For example, he says, from now on when you talk about a...

Proununciation of Biopic

How do you pronounce biopic? The proper way to mention the genre of biographical motion picture has always been “BUY-oh-pick,” as opposed to the mirror of myopic. It’s not unusual to mispronounce a word if the spelling does not...