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Buy the Farm Origin

Adair in Fort Worth, Texas, says that her mother said that when traveling a dangerous stretch of road she and her husband almost bought the ranch, meaning they came close to having a fatal wreck. The more common phrase is bought the farm...

Add a Letter to Movie Titles Game

Quiz Guy John Chaneski’s latest puzzle involves changing a movie plot by adding a single letter to the original title. For example, the movie in which Melissa McCarthy plays a deskbound CIA analyst becomes a story about the same character who...

Bouncy House of Language

Some people proudly embrace the label cancer survivor, while others feel that’s not quite the right word. Is there a better term for someone who’s battled cancer? Writers and listeners share the best sentence they’ve read all day...

Hitchcock’s MacGuffins

A MacGuffin isn’t the name of a breakfast sandwich, but it could be — that is, if a movie involves characters trying to get that sandwich. The MacGuffin, also spelled McGuffin or maguffin, is any object in a film that drives the story...

Plot Bunny

Say you’re a novelist working on your magnum opus. While you’re shuffling through the produce aisle, an idea strikes you and you can’t stop thinking about it. That’s what they call a plot bunny. This is part of a complete...