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Episode 1587

Herd of Turtles

Some college students are using the word loyalty as a synonym for monogamy. Are the meanings of these words now shifting? Plus, a biologist discovers a new species of bat, then names it after a poet he admires. Also, warm memories of how a childhood...

Memories of a First Library Card

Jelani Cobb, a writer for The New Yorker, began a lovely thread on Twitter by asking readers to talk about their first library card. That online discussion also prompted fond memories from the hosts about the majestic main branch of the Louisville...

Words of the Year

What’s your choice for 2010’s word of the year? Mama grizzly? Starwhacker? Who could forget vuvuzela? Martha and Grant discuss the five-oh in Hawaii 5-0, and whether the tagline “I approve this message” is grammatical. Also...

Another Country Heard From

A San Diego woman says that when her baby starts crying in another room, her in-laws have a habit of saying, “Another country heard from!” This expression’s roots go back to elections in the 19th century, and was originally...

Reduplication for Emphasis

A woman from Dallas wants to know about a verbal habit she grew up with in her Cajun French speaking Louisiana family. It’s use of repetition for emphasis, as in, “it’s hot, but it’s not hot hot.” Grant explains how reduplications...