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Episode 1600

Go Bananas

A caller wonders if she’s being hypersensitive about the way her boss addresses her in emails. Can the use of an employee’s first name ever reflect a power differential? And: a community choir director wants a term for “the act of...

Synanthropes

Synanthropes are creatures that live and thrive close to humans but aren’t pets — animals such as pigeons, raccoons, and rats. Synanthrope comes from Greek words that mean “with” and “human,” and has been around since...

Episode 1526

Abso-Bloomin-Lutely

The autocomplete function on your phone comes in handy, of course. But is it changing the way we write and how linguists study language? Also, suppose you could invite any two authors, living or dead, to dinner. Who’s on your guest list and...