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Frozen Rope

Where would you find a sports commentator talking about high cheese and ducks on a pond? Here’s a hint: both terms are part of what makes America’s pastime so colorful. • A government official in New Zealand proposes a new, more...

New Maori Words

A government official in New Zealand has devised a new Maori-based glossary to replace some of the English words used by the government for talking about mental health, disability, and addiction. For example, he proposes replacing the word autism...

Self-Licking Organizations

The terms self-licking ice cream cone, self-eating watermelon, and self-licking lollipop all refer to organizations, such as governmental bureaucracies, that appear to exist solely for the sake of perpetuating themselves. This is part of a complete...

Do-ocracy

The Occupy movement helped to popularize the term do-ocracy, a system of management or government where the people who actually roll up their sleeves and do things get to decide how those things are done. This is part of a complete episode.

Idiom’s Delight

A recent study found that some names crop up more frequently than others in certain professions. The name William is especially common among attorneys–and graphic designers include a higher-than-average number of Jessicas. Plus, picturesque...

The Great Recession

Should the Great Recession be talked and written about as a proper noun? Recessions tend to be vague in their scale and timelines, so it’s problematic to mention them as proper nouns. Perhaps the similarities in sound between Great Recession...