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Episode 1590

Primary Colors

Centuries ago, monks who took a vow of silence developed their own hand signs, with hundreds of gestures, that are still in use today. Plus, how do speakers of different languages distinguish similar shades and tints of colors such as red, yellow...

Episode 1552

Moon Palace

What happens in a classroom of refugee and immigrant youngsters learning English? Their fresh approach to language can result in remarkable poetry — some of which is collected in the anthology England: Poems from a School. Also, new language among...

B-Flat Meaning Ordinary

Rachel from Harrogate, Tennessee, says when she was growing up in the Cincinnati, Ohio, area, she and her fellow musicians used the term B-flat as slang for “ordinary” or “average.” In the 1938 publication New York Panorama...

Apple Core, Baltimore!

A Madison, Wisconsin, caller says his father will eat an apple down to the core, then call out “Apple core, Baltimore! Who’s your friend?” and if the person doesn’t answer fast enough, his dad will throw the core at him. This...

Federal Writers Project

President Barack Obama hopes to boost the economy by pouring federal dollars into efforts to rebuild the nation’s infrastructure, much like the old Works Progress Administration of the 1930s. But how about reviving that other jobs program from...

take a walk

take a walk  v. phr.— «These scores include votes cast and non-votes by members present at the time the vote was cast. This practice, known as “taking a walk” is a ploy some lawmakers use to avoid a recorded vote while actually...