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Naming Shades and Tints of Colors

How do we agree on how to name shades and tints of colors? A famous study in the 1960s, Basic Color Terms: Their Universality and Evolution (Bookshop|Amazon by Brent Berlin and Paul Kay found that if a language had only two color terms, they were...

The Best Pronunciation of “Tinnitus”

Kay in Sparks, Nevada, wonders how to pronounce the term for the ringing in one’s ears known as tinnitus. Some people rhyme it with arthritis, while others stress the first syllable instead. Either is acceptable. Tinnitus derives from Latin...

Foreign City Names in America

Why are some American place names pronounced differently than the famous place they were named after? Why is Cairo, Ill., pronounced “KAY-roh”? Why do Midwesterners pronounce Versailles as “Ver-SALES” and the New Madrid Fault...

Literary Kisses

Martha shares the famous passage from the poem by Catullus that begins, “Give me a thousand kisses…“ Grant reads an excerpt from the 1883 volume, The Love Poems of Louis Barnaval by Charles de Kay. This is part of a complete episode.

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