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When “Evening” Means “Afternoon”

Joan grew up in Yorkshire, England, then moved to New Orleans, Louisiana. There she was surprised to hear some people use the term evening instead of afternoon to refer to “the period between noon and 5 p.m.” The word evening is used...

Mark Twain and Helen Keller

Mark Twain and Helen Keller enjoyed a close, enduring friendship. When he learned that she was mortified was accused of plagiarism, he sent her a fond letter as touching as it was reassuring. This is part of a complete episode.

Compliment Challenge

As Mark Twain observed, “The compliment that helps us on our way is not the one that is shut up in the mind, but the one that is spoken out.” Martha describes a compliment challenge her friends are taking up on Facebook, with happy...

Fossil Poetry

The writer Richard Trench has a lovely quote that echoes Ralph Waldo Emerson’s famous lines about language as fossil poetry: “Language is the amber in which a thousand precious thoughts have been safely embedded and preserved.”...

A Writer Is a Person…

The great Leonard Bernstein once said, “A writer is a person for whom writing is more difficult than it is for other people.” What are your favorite quotes on writing? This is part of a complete episode.