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Seasoned Citizen, Not to Mention Salty

Following up on our conversation about words like elderly and senior citizen, a listener in Albuquerque, New Mexico, suggests the term seasoned citizen. A store in San Diego, California, offers customers over 60 a wisdom discount. The transit system...

Folk Expressions for Ailments

A physician in Onancock, Virginia, shares some expressions he’s picked up from his patients, such as Old Arthur, as in Old Arthur’s in town — a reference to suffering from arthritis. Patients have also described feeling discouraged or...

Pandemic Haikus

The art project called “Social Distancing, Haiku, and You,” includes a poem that articulates gratitude to health-care workers on the front lines of the global pandemic. This is part of a complete episode.

Episode 1547

Cabin Fever

The adjectives canine and feline refer to dogs and cats. But how does English address other groups of animals? Plus, cabin fever has been around much longer than the current pandemic. That restless, antsy, stir-crazy feeling goes back to the days...

The Best Pronunciation of “Tinnitus”

Kay in Sparks, Nevada, wonders how to pronounce the term for the ringing in one’s ears known as tinnitus. Some people rhyme it with arthritis, while others stress the first syllable instead. Either is acceptable. Tinnitus derives from Latin...

Prophylactic

Anna from Alden, Michigan, recalls as a child looking up the word prophylactic in the dictionary. It goes back to the Greek word phylax, which means “guard.” To guard against tooth decay, you can get dental prophylaxis, also known as...