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The The New Yorker

Christy, an English teacher from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, has an ongoing dispute with her boyfriend about the name of the magazine called The New Yorker: Is it correct to say “Did your copy of the The New Yorker arrive?” Is it really...

Episode 1568

Lasagna Hog

Understanding the varieties of conversational styles can mean the difference between feeling you’re understood and being insulted. “High-involvement” speakers interrupt or talk along with someone else to signal their enthusiasm...

The Palindromists

The new documentary The Palindromists is a delightful romp through the world of competitive palindrome construction. The movie chronicles the events leading up to the 2017 World Palindrome Championship held at the American Crossword Puzzle...

Jay Wright on Poetry

In an interview with the literary journal Callaloo, the poet Jay Wright tells a story about giving a poetry reading and then explaining his work in response to a question from a young member of the audience. This is part of a complete episode.

At First Blush

Jeanne from Fort Atkinson, Wisconsin, is perplexed by the phrase at first blush, which would seem to have to do with embarrassment. But at least as early as the mid-14th century, another meaning of blush has been “glance,” so at first...

Hue and Cry

Today, the phrase hue and cry means a clamor or uproar, but in old English law, hue and cry referred to the public outcry during the pursuit of a criminal suspect. Anyone who heard this shouting was legally obligated to join in the chase. This is...