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Adynatons from Stevie Wonder

Stevie Wonder’s 1976 hit “As” includes a long list of adynatons, those fanciful statements about impossible events that are used for rhetorical effect. This is part of a complete episode.

1930s Baseball Slang

Baseball slang collected during the 1930s includes fishing trip for “taking a swing at a bad ball,” pour the pine for “to hit a good ball solidly,” and the derisive term collisions for “college players,”, that is...

Episode 1550

Queen Bee

An artist asks strangers to write haiku about the pandemic and gets back poetic, poignant glimpses of life under lockdown. Plus, the new book Queenspotting features the colorful language of beekeeping! Bees tell each other about a good source of...

Episode 1532

Off the Turnip Truck

It’s hard to imagine now, but there was a time when people disagreed over the best word to use when answering the phone. Alexander Graham Bell suggested answering with ahoy! but Thomas Edison was partial to hello! A fascinating new book about...