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When Your Car is “the Machine”

Matthew in Cincinnati, Ohio, says his grandfather used to refer to his car as the machine. Around the turn of the 20th century, it wasn’t uncommon to apply the term machine to automobiles. This is part of a complete episode.

The Meaning of Swarf

Mark in Bostonia, California, works in a machine shop where a sign warned: Beware of coolant and swarf. The word swarf refers to filings or dust created from machine work. Swarf can also function as a verb meaning “to cover with dust or grit...

Time Machine

After Sarah moved from Wisconsin to Iowa, she sparked some momentary confusion when she asked a store clerk where his TYME machine was. In parts of Wisconsin, Florida, and Michigan there are automated teller machines, or ATMs, called TYME machines...

Tyme Travel

On Twitter, @mollybackes notes that in Wisconsin, a Tyme machine dispenses cash, not time travel. This is part of a complete episode.

Why Do We Call it Air Conditioning?

Why do we use the term air conditioner to refer a machine for cooling air, when we use the word heater to describe a mechanism for heating air? The term air conditioning was borrowed from the textile industry, where it referred to filtering and...