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What Are the Odds?

A retired astronomer in Tucson, Arizona, is curious about the expression What are the odds? The idea of odds meaning “the likelihood of something occurring,” goes back to the idea of odds and evens and something odd being the thing...

My Little Snicklefritz

Allie in Decatur, Alabama, says her mother referred to an impish child as a schnickelfritz. This term for a “young rascal” is often used affectionately, and spelled any of several ways, including snicklefritz, snickelfritz, and...

In Praise of Long Sentences

The gorgeous essay “In Praise of the Long and Complicated Sentence” by Joe Moran argues for the glories of spinning out long and beautiful sentences. This is part of a complete episode.

Joe Moran on Writing Well

Joe Moran’s essay on writing well suggests that his forthcoming book is a great read. It’s called First You Write a Sentence: The Elements of Reading, Writing … and Life. This is part of a complete episode.

Help Pronounced as “Hope”

Joe in Huntsville, Alabama, says an elderly friend consistently says hope to mean help. For more than a century, some speakers in parts of the Southern United States drop the L sound before another consonant in words, which then affects the adjacent...

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