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Episode 1549

Navel-Gazing

In 1971, when a new public library opened in Troy, Michigan, famous authors and artists were invited to write letters to the city’s youngest readers, extolling the many benefits of libraries. One of the loveliest was from E.B. White, author of...

The Lure and Love of Libraries

Letters of Note, an online collection of notable letters throughout history, includes one from E.B. White, author of Stuart Little and Charlotte’s Web, and co-author of The Elements of Style, about the lure and love of libraries. This is part...

flitillary

flitillary  n.— «The erratic, zigzagging flight of courting and songbird-evading fritillaries prompt some people to refer to them as “flitillaries.” Actually, the genus name probably derives from fritillus, a cylindrical cup used by the...

hot money

hot money  n.— «Rather than simply wooing local customers, they have turned to out-of-state brokers who deliver billions of dollars in bulk deposits, widely known as “hot money,” from investors nationwide. In fast-growing regions like this...

green shoot

green shoot  n.— «In recent weeks, “green shoots,” or signs of improvement in the economy (the term was coined by Federal Reserve Chairman Ben S. Bernanke), have been eagerly received by investors who’ve been looking for...

lure knocker

lure knocker  n.— «Every fisherman should also carry what is called a “lure knocker,” which is a device with a weight on the end and a short length of chain attached to a long rope. The device will hook onto your snagged lure...