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Episode 1600

Go Bananas

A caller wonders if she’s being hypersensitive about the way her boss addresses her in emails. Can the use of an employee’s first name ever reflect a power differential? And: a community choir director wants a term for “the act of...

Följa John

Say you’re on a long road trip. Do you have a term for another driver who happens to be traveling the same direction and sets the pace for your car mile after mile? In an earlier episode, a Rhode Island listener left us wondering why her Swedish...

Road Buddies and Follow Johns

Imagine you’re on a long road trip. Is there a word for that other driver who sets the pace for your car mile after mile? Road buddy, perhaps? A Rhode Island caller says her family calls that driver a Follow John. Social psychologist Stanley...

ten-tenths

ten-tenths  adj.—Gloss: All, all-out, or completely. «Racers often rate their effort in terms of tenths, with nine-tenths being an agressive race pace and ten-tenths a banzai lap.» —“Ultimate!! Racing!! Machines!!” by...

roller

roller  n.— «I reined in the speedy pace and tried to find a rhythm over the first three miles, where we encountered “rollers”—in running parlance, those are mellow hills with ups and downs that wake up your legs, but aren’t so...

ring game

ring game  n.— «Dances were often held at ranch houses, but many Baptists opposed dancing to music. Still wanting to dance, Bill and his friends solved this dilemma by participating in what was known as “ring games.” As in...