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Pronunciation of Measure

Anna, who lives in the San Francisco Bay area, wonders if it’s okay to pronounce the word measure as ‘meɪʒər (rhyming with “hey sure”) instead of ‘mɛʒər (rhyming with “treasure”). This pronunciation is...

The “Meal” in Piecemeal

The word piecemeal means bit by bit. If you pay back a debt piecemeal, you repay it a little at a time. The -meal in piecemeal is an old term that means a measure of time or a specified portion. In Middle English, this element appears in several...

Apgar Score Origins

Named for anesthesiologist Dr. Virginia Apgar, the Apgar score — a measure of a newborn’s appearance, pulse, grimace, activity, and respiration — is both an eponym and an acronym. This is part of a complete episode.

BP, Before Present, Dating

Jessica in Omaha, Nebraska, was excited to discover an arrowhead, then puzzled when archaeologists told her that its age was probably between 6000-3000 BP. Why do some scientists measure time with the designation BP, or Before Present, instead of BC...