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Fred Allen Quotes

The old-time radio performer Fred Allen had some great one-liners, such as Hanging is too good for a man who likes puns; he should be drawn and quoted. He also said I like long walks, especially when taken by someone who annoys me. Among his most...

Episode 1525

Niblings and Nieflings

How do actors bring Shakespeare’s lines to life so that modern audiences immediately understand the text? One way is to emphasize the names of people and places at certain points. That technique is called billboarding. And: Anyone for an...

To Sworp

When David from Warren County, Indiana, visited relatives in Virginia, he heard about an inebriated man who was said to have entered a church and caused a ruckus while sworpin’ down the aisle. In Appalachia, the verb sworp, also spelled swarp...

Bed Pallet

Melanie in San Antonio, Texas, wonders about the use of the word pallet to mean improvised bedding on the floor. It goes back to a French term for it, paillet, which comes from a word meaning straw. The word also appears in some translations of the...

Episode 1518

One-Armed Paper Hanger

The emotional appeal of handwriting and the emotional reveal of animal phrases. Should children be taught cursive writing in school, or is their time better spent studying other things? A handwritten note and a typed one may use the very same words...