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Double Meanings in Ads

An ad campaign featuring the phrase the last straw to urge people not to use plastic straws has Allie in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, wondering about double meanings in advertising. Research shows that such punning can be effective. This is part of a...

Episode 1441

Copacetic

Brand names, children’s games, and the etiquette of phone conversations. Those clever plastic PEZ dispensers come in all shapes and sizes—but where did the word PEZ come from? The popular candy’s name is the product of wordplay involving...

Pez Name Origins

When an Austrian candy maker needed a name for his new line of mints, he took the first, middle, and last letters of the German word pfefferminz, or “peppermint,” to form the brand name PEZ. He later marketed the candies as an...

Eat the Grindstone

The books we love as children may influence our careers more than we realize. As a child, Martha was fascinated with stories of cracking codes, and Grant loved books with glossaries–not that far from the kind of work they do today. A caller...

Bacon Collar

When you forget to put those plastic stays in your collar before you wash a dress shirt, the curled-up result is what some folks call bacon collar. This is part of a complete episode.

Episode 1407

Hell’s Bells

The language of restaurant menus. Need a dictionary to get through a dinner menu? Research shows the longer the description of a particular dish, the more expensive it will be. Plus: What’s the best way to use a thesaurus? DON’T —...

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