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Episode 1576

Sour Pickle

You know that Yogi Berra quote about how Nobody ever comes here; it’s too crowded? Actually, the first person to use this was actress Suzanne Ridgeway, who appeared in several movies with The Three Stooges. A new book shows that many well...

Mikka Bozu

On our Facebook group, listeners are pondering whether there’s a word for buying an object and then using it for a completely different purpose — the treadmill that ends up as a clothes rack, for example. The Japanese expression mikka bozu, or...

Episode 1529

At First Blush

Book recommendations and the art of apology. Martha and Grant share some good reads, including an opinionated romp through English grammar, a Spanish-language adventure novel, an account of 19th-century dictionary wars, and a gorgeously illustrated...

Loanwords with Altered Meanings

John in Brattleboro, Vermont, is pondering words and phrases that change their meaning when they move from one language to another. For example, in Germany the English phrase public viewing doesn’t have to do with a wake, but a live sporting...

Episode 1518

One-Armed Paper Hanger

The emotional appeal of handwriting and the emotional reveal of animal phrases. Should children be taught cursive writing in school, or is their time better spent studying other things? A handwritten note and a typed one may use the very same words...

Should Cursive Be Taught in Schools?

Should cursive handwriting be taught in schools? There are compelling arguments on both sides. A handwritten letter or note may carry additional emotional power. Also, to have a yen for something means to yearn for it. It comes from a Chinese word...

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