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Crab Crackers Misunderstanding

Sometimes children misunderstand language with hilarious results. But sometimes even adults can be tripped up by homonyms. Working behind the seafood counter in a supermarket, John from San Diego, California, had some embarrassing miscommunications...

Different Animal Sounds in Different Languages

Robert from Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, was surprised to find when working in Siberia that children there are taught to use different words to say the sound an animal makes. For example, English speakers say cock-a-doodle-doo, but children in Siberia...

Clever Clogs (episode #1539)

Ribbon fall. Gallery forest. You won’t find terms like these in most dictionaries, but they and hundreds like them are discussed by famous writers in the book Home Ground: A Guide to the American Landscape. The book is an intriguing collection...

Little Shavers (episode #1538)

The word hipster might seem recent, but it actually originated in the 1930s when it referred to jazz aficionados who were in the know about the best nightclubs and cool music. Speaking of music, a professional musician reports that it’s...

Recommended Book: Greek to Me

Martha recommends Greek to Me: Adventures of the Comma Queen, a deeply personal, exuberant account of falling in love with both ancient and modern Greek by Mary Norris, former copy editor for The New Yorker. Norris shares several intriguing modern...

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