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Icebox

Keith in Valparaiso, Indiana, wonders why his mother uses the term icebox for what other people call a refrigerator. Before electric refrigeration, people kept food cold by putting it in a an insulated box that was literally cooled with a block of...

Why Do We Call it Air Conditioning?

Why do we use the term air conditioner to refer a machine for cooling air, when we use the word heater to describe a mechanism for heating air? The term air conditioning was borrowed from the textile industry, where it referred to filtering and...

Turn Up The AC

Does turning up the A.C. make a room cooler or warmer? A listener grapples with multiple meanings of the word “up.” Martha suggests saying, “Turn up the air conditioning,” not “turn up the air conditioner,” just...