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Episode 1568

Lasagna Hog

Understanding the varieties of conversational styles can mean the difference between feeling you’re understood and being insulted. “High-involvement” speakers interrupt or talk along with someone else to signal their enthusiasm...

Words that Looks Like What They Refer to

Dan from Elmira, New York, wonders if there’s such a thing as “structural” onomatopoeia, where the visual appearance or architecture of a written word suggests the meaning of the word. For example, he says, the word level is a...

The Palindromists

The new documentary The Palindromists is a delightful romp through the world of competitive palindrome construction. The movie chronicles the events leading up to the 2017 World Palindrome Championship held at the American Crossword Puzzle...

Had a Tonic, Cuppa Cappuccino, Ta-Dah!

Lori Wike is the principal bassoonist in the Utah Symphony. She also crafts clever palindromes, as is clear from the documentary The Palindromists, which features one of her favorite creations: Had a tonic, cuppa cappuccino, Ta-Dah! This is part of...

Episode 1514

Space Cadet

We have books for language-lovers and recommendations for history buffs. • How did the word boondoggle come to denote a wasteful project? The answer involves the Boy Scouts, a baby, a craft project, and a city council meeting. • Instead of reversing...

Word Sentence Palindromes

A palindrome is a word or phrase with letters that read the same backwards and forwards, such as taco cat, nurses run, and a nut for a jar of tuna. Word-unit palindromes are similar, although you read them word by word. One example: “You can...