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Why Libraries are Indispensible

Vartan Gregorian, the academic, philanthropist, and indefatigable fundraiser, raised millions to support the New York Public Library, and eloquently described why libraries are an indispensable, inspiring part of any community. This is part of a...

Care Package Origin

We send care packages to show others that we care, of course. Originally, though, a CARE package was a shipment of supplies from the Cooperative for American Remittances to Europe, a group of civic, social, religious, and labor organizations that...

Gentleman’s Grotto

A follow up to our discussion on man caves; one listener suggests we try to popularize the term “gentleman’s grotto.” This is part of a complete episode.

Bump! Thank You M’am

Do you have a saying for when you drive over a bump and plop back down? In the Northeast, it’s common to say thank you, ma’am, since the nodding motion of a head going over a bump is reminiscent of genteel greetings. It’s also...

Grammar School

Why are elementary schools sometimes called grammar schools? The earliest schools, called scolae grammaticales, were connected to monasteries. They were meant for teaching Latin grammar. The term declined in popularity during the 1960s. This is part...

Even a Blind Pig

If you’re having a tough time finding something, remember that even a blind pig can find an acorn once in a while. This encouraging idiom actually comes from ancient Rome, where the concept of a blind animal turning something up lent itself to...