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Premise vs. Premises

A listener who works with computers asked about the difference between premise and premises, especially when it comes to the idea of on- or off-premises computing. Going back to the 1600’s, the term premises has meant a “location”...


The plural of hummus isn’t easy to pin down, because although the word’s ending looks like a Latin singular, it’s actually Arabic. For waiters and party hosts serving multiple plates of hummus, it’s not wrong to say hummuses...

You Guys

If you’re talking to group of people of mixed genders, it’s fine to address them as “You guys.” After all, English lacks a distinctive second-person plural. Still, if the usage offends someone, it’s best to address them...

A Dole of Doves

Like the famous murmuration of starlings, a dole of doves is another beautiful collective noun from the aviary world. This is part of a complete episode.