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Episode 1515

Colonial English

The anatomy of effective prose, and the poetry of anatomy. Ever wonder what it’d be like to audit a class taught by a famous writer? A graduate student’s essay offers a taste of a semester studying with author Annie Dillard. Also, what...

Naming a City with a Coin Toss

The city of Portland, Oregon, where Martha and Grant recently took their live show, owes its name to a coin toss. The city’s founders, Asa Lovejoy of Boston, Massachusetts, and Frances Pettygrove of Portland, Maine, each wanted to name it for...

Facepalm and Headdesk

Hello, language-lovers — This past weekend’s episode is a delicious re-airing of a show from last spring, tackling great catchprases, Fibber McGee drawers, autocorrected text messages, annoying verbal fillers (“um”) and a...

drifting

drifting  n.— «Sheriff’s Deputy Paul McRedmond says Kevin Enderlin was speeding in a car that crossed the centerline on a southeast Portland road and collided with a van. McRedmond says investigators believe Enderlin might have been...

flossy

flossy  adj.— «Most of the good Portland restaurants serve what is known as “flossy” food (for fresh, local, organic, sustainable, seasonable). Flossies are people who believe in these ideals and try to eat in that manner...

spey cast

spey cast  v. phr.— «To achieve long casts consistently over a long day of casting, many steelhead fly-anglers in the Northwest have taken up two-handed rods and a technique called spey casting. Traditional single-handed fly casting...