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Every Home Should Have a Spoon Sharpener

After our earlier conversation with Amanda in Evansville, Indiana, whose family refers to their garbage disposal as George, a listener shares his own family’s term for this device: the spoon sharpener. This is part of a complete episode.

Episode 1563

Ring-Tailed Tooter

National Book Award winner Barry Lopez had wise advice for young writers. First, read widely and follow your curiosity. Second, travel or learn a foreign language. And third, find out what you truly believe, because if you’re not writing from...

Fiddlesticks

Dawn in Evansville, Indiana, wonders why we dismiss something as nonsense by exclaiming Fiddlesticks! The term arose in the 17th century, most likely because the bow for a fiddle is light, thin, and insubstantial, or in other words...

So Proud You Visited

After moving from Indiana to Arkansas, Shannon noted that people in her new hometown use the adjective proud to mean “glad,” as in “I’m so proud you came for a visit.” In addition to describing someone “full of...

Episode 1544

Hog on Ice

One secret to writing well is … there is no secret! There’s no substitute for simply sitting down day after day to practice the craft and learn from your mistakes. Plus, childhood mixups around word definitions can lead to some funny stories...

Independent as a Hog on Ice

Pam from Denton, Texas, says her mother-in-law always used the expression independent as a hog on ice. A hog that stubbornly gets itself stranded on a sheet of ice is in an extremely awkward position. A passage in the book Jack Shelby: A Story of...