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Spitting Game

The term “spitting game,” meaning “to flirt,” comes from African-American slang going back to at least the 1960’s, when game referred to someone’s hustle. It’s well covered in Randy Kearse’s Street...

Scratching an Itch

Scratching an itch is far more common than itching a scratch. Both are grammatically correct, but the latter is considered informal. This is part of a complete episode.

Brown as a Berry

It used to be that you called any mixed-breed dog a mutt. But at today’s dog parks, you’re just as likely to run into schnugs, bassadors, and dalmadoodles. Also, if someone has a suntan, you might say he’s brown as a berry. But...

Poetry Improves Writing

Can reading poetry make you a better writer? The way poetry pushes up against the rules of grammar makes it a great teacher even for the writing of standard prose. And while plenty of poems are best comprehended by the wise and mature, hip-hop is a...

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