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Hiker Trail Names and Trail Angels

As a Wyoming caller noted in an earlier episode, through-hikers on routes like the Appalachian Trail give each other trail names — jocular appellations that stick throughout their trek. The origin stories of several of these are told in the book...

Can’t Died; His Brother is Try

The phrases Can’t died in the poorhouse, Can’t died in the war, and Can’t died in the cornfield are all jocular ways of encouraging someone to persevere despite difficulties or long odds. Sometimes this notion involves the...

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...

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...