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Heavy, Heavy Hangover

Clint from Dallas, Texas, recalls a peculiar family tradition for giving birthday presents to a child. A giver would hold a gift over the child’s head and recite: Heavy heavy hangover / Thy poor head / What do you wish this donor? The child...

Goody Two-Shoes Origin Story

Marge from Greenfield, Wisconsin, wonders why we refer to someone ostentatiously well-behaved as a goody-two-shoes. The 1765 book, The History of Little Goody Two Shoes tells the story of a poor young girl by the same name whose virtue is at long...

Singing to Improve Grammar

When you have a habit of using a particular bit of poor grammar, rote exercises like writing out a script to practice may help you get past it. Practicing the correct usage by singing to yourself may work, too. This is part of a complete episode.

What All Men Carry Riddle

A riddle in rhyme: What does a man love more than life /Fear more than death or mortal strife / What the poor have, the rich require /And what contented men desire / What the miser spends and the spendthrift saves/ And all men carry to their graves...

Typefaces in History

Pity the poor typeface designer, always seeing anachronisms in movies and television. Imagine how painful it must be watching a World War II movie only to see a document printed in Snell Roundhand Bold, a font invented in 1972. Here’s typeface...

Facebook Groups for Word-Lovers

Martha and Grant share some favorite Facebook groups: Ambrose Bierce was the baddest-ass lexicographer who ever lived. I judge you when you use poor grammar. What Are A Grammar? People Who Always Have To Spell Their Names For Other People. Of...