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Why “The” Bronx?

Why does the name of the Manhattan borough called The Bronx include the word The while the other boroughs of New York City lack a definite article? The 17th-century Dutch settler Jonas Bronck bequeathed his name to a local body of water, which came...

How Much Do You Like?

Mark from Newport News, Virginia, says his mother, who grew up in Fancy Farm, Kentucky, often used a puzzling phrase. To ask how close he was to completing a task, she’d say what sounded like How much do you like? In parts of the Southern...

Solastalgia

Solastalgia is psychic or existential distress caused by environmental change, or by change to a place that has been familiar. Coined by Australian philosopher Glenn Albrecht, solastalgia combines the Greek root -algia, meaning pain, and solas...

Governor Moonbeam

Why is California governor Jerry Brown sometimes called Governor Moonbeam? This ethereal moniker was bestowed by the great Chicago newspaper columnist Mike Royko to suggest a kind of hippie-dippie, insubstatntial, lack of practicality. This is part...