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Blah, Blah, Blah

Edward in Atlanta, Georgia, wonders how and why English speakers came to use the phrase blah, blah, blah as a placeholder or filler. These repeated syllables are likely intended to mirror the sound of English, if not the meaning of specific words...

Episode 1505

Coinkydink

Sometimes it’s a challenge to give a book a chance: How many pages should you read before deciding it’s not worth your time? There’s a new formula to help with that decision — and it’s all based on your age. • Have you ever...

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 1605

Big Bang

A savory Sicilian sausage roll is always a hit for the holidays. This dish goes by a long list of names that are equally delicious to say. Plus, why are those promotional quotes you see on the back of a book called blurbs? The guy who coined the...

Box with Five Handles

Barb in Battle Creek, Michigan, reports that when she was a small child, a neighbor from Georgia said she would bring her a box with five handles for her birthday. Barb was overjoyed until she learned that the phrase is actually a joking euphemism...

Episode 1565

Lead On, Macduff!

For rock climbers, skiers, and other outdoor enthusiasts, the word send has taken on a whole new meaning. You might cheer on a fellow snowboarder with Send it, bro! — and being sendy is a really great thing. Plus: a nostalgic trip to Willa...