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A Trade-Last Expects a Compliment in Return

Debbie from Memphis, Tennessee, grew up in Arkansas, where she learned the term trade-last, which refers to “a quoted compliment offered in return for the recipient first offering one to the speaker.” Although those from the American...

Remove a D Rhyming Word Quiz

Quiz Guy John Chaneski has a take-off puzzle this week, offering clues to rhyming two-word phrases made by removing the letter D from the beginning of one of them. For example, if your sound equipment was damaged in a flood, what are you left with...

As Deep as the Sea

A native New Yorker who lived as a boy with his grandmother in South Carolina recalls coming home late one day and offering a long-winded excuse, prompting his grandmother to declare, “Boy, you’re as deep as the sea!” She probably...

Gary Provost Writing Advice

Gary Provost, author of Make Your Words Work, made a career of offering great writing advice, including: “Five-word sentences are fine. But several together become monotonous. Listen to what is happening. The writing is getting boring. The...

Can I Spell You

Mary, from Royal Oaks, Michigan, says she once confused a friend by offering to relieve her of snow shoveling duties with the question, “Can I spell you?” This usage of spell, which refers to substituting for a period of time, has been...

Paronomasia

Paronomasia’s just another word for pun, and Martha can’t resist offering an example. This is part of a complete episode.