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Haven’t Had so Much Fun Since…

On our Facebook page, listeners are sharing colloquial sayings they’ve heard used to describe events. These phrases include I haven’t had so much fun since the horse kicked Father, I haven’t had so much fun since the hogs et my...

Aliquot

A chemistry professor in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, says a word that she uses in the lab is also handy in everyday life. To aliquot something means “to divide into equal portions.” In piano construction, aliquot scaling involves adding...

How Grief Bangs One About

A 1952 thank-you note from then recently widowed Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother is a moving description of how grief “bangs one about until one is senseless,” and the comfort that the gift of a book can provide. This is part of a...

Should Cursive Be Taught in Schools?

Should cursive handwriting be taught in schools? There are compelling arguments on both sides. A handwritten letter or note may carry additional emotional power. Also, to have a yen for something means to yearn for it. It comes from a Chinese word...

NRG Grammagram

Our conversation about rebuses and grammagrams prompted several listeners to note that people in scientific fields sometimes use the letters NRG as a stand-in for the word energy. This is part of a complete episode.

To Harp on Something

Does the expression to harp on, as in “to nag,” have anything to do with the stringed instrument one plays by plucking? Yes! As early as the 16th century to harp all of one string meant to keep playing the same single note monotonously...