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Charley Horse

Why do we call that painful leg cramp a charley horse? While no good answers are out there, we did find some pretty far-fetched ones, including a story about old night watchmen known as Charlies and their broken-down horses. But the term first pops...

Magical Word Game

Quiz Guy John Chaneski has a magical puzzle, the answers to which contain the word magic. For example, a motel sign in the ’70s might have included the enticement Magic Fingers, and Gabriel Garcia Marquez was a practitioner of literature featuring...

Mathematical

If something is mathematical, is it cool? According to a mother of two middle-schoolers, that’s exactly what it’s come to mean among the younger set. Then again, irony is also pretty hip. But could her kids be using a piece of ironic...

Puns in the Headlines

When President Barack Obama had the Oval Office redecorated in soft browns and beige, The New York Times headline read: “The Audacity of Taupe.” The hosts discuss how puns work, and what makes them clever. Martha recommends John...

Facebook Groups for Word-Lovers

Martha and Grant share some favorite Facebook groups: Ambrose Bierce was the baddest-ass lexicographer who ever lived. I judge you when you use poor grammar. What Are A Grammar? People Who Always Have To Spell Their Names For Other People. Of...

Jan Freeman, “Write it Right”

One hundred years ago, American journalist and satirist Ambrose Bierce published a curmudgeonly book of writing advice called Write It Right: A Little Blacklist of Literary Faults.

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