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Vonnegut’s Advice for Writers

An Upper Michigan listener with a form of dyslexia told us he wrote to Kurt Vonnegut years ago about his frustration with trying to become a published writer. Vonnegut wrote back, assuring that when you care enough about your subject, the right...

Keeping Your Voice Box in Working Order

Kurt Vonnegut gave us this timeless quote in his novel Cat’s Cradle: “People have to talk about something just to keep their voice boxes in working order, so they’ll have good voice boxes in case there’s ever anything really...

Noon Balloon to Rangoon

Is there a word you keep having to look up in the dictionary, no matter how many times you’ve looked it up before? Maybe it’s time for a mnemonic device. And: a listener shares a letter from Kurt Vonnegut himself, with some reassuring...

Vonnegut Quote on Book Reviews

Kurt Vonnegut on scathing book reviews: “Any reviewer who expresses rage and loathing for a novel is preposterous. He or she is like a person who has put on full armor and attacked a hot fudge sundae.” This is part of a complete episode.

X L N C U X L

We hope that when it comes to conversation about language, you haven’t been sufficiently suffonsified, because there’s lots to talk about in this week’s archive episode. For starters, there’s the way some pets take a while to...

India-no-place

India-no-place  n.— «Author Kurt Vonnegut called his hometown Indianapolis a cemetery with lights that came to life once a year for the Indianapolis 500. Frustrated by lack of night life, some residents termed it “India-no-place...