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Episode 1548

Yak Shaving

There was a time when William Shakespeare was just another little seven-year-old in school. Classes in his day were demanding — and all in Latin. A new book argues that this rigorous curriculum actually nurtured the creativity that later flourished...

Singing and Barking Sands

Singing sand refers to the roaring noise or boom produced by vibrations in sand dunes. Barking sand, which makes yipping noises when you drag your feet along it, is found along coastlines in Hawaii and elsewhere. These terms are discussed in more...

Tsegi

According to Homeground: A Guide to the American Landscape, edited by Barry Lopez and Debra Gwartney, the Navajo term tsegi means “rock canyon.” This term was adapted into French as the name for the spectacular spot in Arizona known as...

Episode 1539

Clever Clogs

Ribbon fall. Gallery forest. You won’t find terms like these in most dictionaries, but they and hundreds like them are discussed by famous writers in the book Home Ground: A Guide to the American Landscape. The book is an intriguing collection...

Home Ground: Landscape Language

Hourglass valley, ribbon fall, gallery forest, and ephemeral creek may not be in standard dictionaries, but they’re terms often used in parts of the United States to denote features of the landscape particular to various places. Writers Barry...