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Creative Class Origins

The term creative class has been around for a century, but it was popularized by economist and sociologist Richard Florida and his 2002 book, The Rise of the Creative Class. Florida uses the term to refer to artists, designers, tech producers, and...

Knowledge Box

Knowledge box is an old slang term for noggin; one 1755  describes someone who “almost cracked his knowledge box.” This is part of a complete episode.

Brobdingnagian and Unabridged

Why do spelling bees use such strange words — often foreign words that almost nobody uses? Like cymotrichous, stromuhr, Laodicean, guerdon, serrefine, and Ursprache? We answered that question in last week’s episode — it’s what happens...

Latvian Vista

Martha has an example of a linguistic false friend: In Latvian, the word vista means “chicken.” This is part of a complete episode.

Etymology of Rubric

The word rubric derives from a Latin word for “red.” Originally, it referred to red letters used as section headings in religious texts and the like. Rubric has since become a term used in modern educational jargon, as in grading rubric...