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Episode 1601

Funny Papers

There are word nerds, and then there’s the woman who set up a folding chair on sidewalks throughout the country, cheerfully dispensing tips about grammar. She recounts her adventures in a new book. And the story of the brilliant pioneer of...

Why “Comb” in “Comb Graves”?

Comb graves, featuring two long slabs laid over the grave to form a peaked roof, are found in parts of the Southern United States, but primarily in Tennessee. Comb in this sense is an architectural word that refers to “the peak of a...

peaker plant

peaker plant  n.— «Our natural gas fueled electricity generating facilities are commonly referred to as “peaker” plants. Our plants are used to balance unexpected short term surges in demand, making them critical to the...

flyover

flyover  n.— «A $60 million road project, which in late 2006 replaced the notorious Sagamore rotary with a straight stretch of highway heading over the Sagamore Bridge and onto the Cape.…The figures indicate that the new...

raisin bomber

raisin bomber  n.— «On June 26, 1948, in response to the Soviet blockade, C-47s began landing millions of tons of food, coal and other supplies in an operation centered at Tempelhof. At its peak, the airlift landed planes every 90 seconds...

peaknik

peaknik  n.— «Many of the new, nontraditional preparedness converts are “Peakniks,” Mr. Rawles said, referring to adherents of the “Peak Oil” theory. This concept holds that the world will soon, or has already, reached a peak in oil...