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Cootie Shot (episode #1510)

Perfect sentences and slang that tickles your mind! A new book of writing advice says a good sentence “imposes a logic on the world’s weirdness” and pares away options for meaning, word by word. • Your musician friend may refer to...

Cootie Shots and ’Uku Shots

Elizabeth in Suffolk, Virginia, spent her early childhood in Hawaii, then moved to Indiana and found that kids had a different playground game that involved pretending to use a cootie shot to inoculate someone against imagined infection from cooties...

Take My Foot and Walk

In the American South, you might indicate you’re going to walk instead of drive with the expression, “I’m going to take my foot in hand and walk.” A variation is “I’m going to take my foot in my hand.”...

Busted Melon

When writing textbooks about slavery, which words best reflect its cold, hard reality? Some historians are dropping the word slave in favor of terms like enslaved person and captive, arguing that these terms are more accurate. And raising a...

Jump Steady

To transmit information during wartime, various industries used to encode their messages letter by letter with an elaborate system–a primitive version of today’s digital encryption. Grant breaks down some of those secret codes, and...

More Bicycling Slang

Our conversation about gram weenies, those ultralight backpackers who go to extremes to shave off every last bit of excess weight in their gear, prompts a bicyclist in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, to share some cycling slang about ways to find a...

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