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Road Buddies and Follow Johns

Imagine you’re on a long road trip. Is there a word for that other driver who sets the pace for your car mile after mile? Road buddy, perhaps? A Rhode Island caller says her family calls that driver a Follow John. Social psychologist Stanley...

Episode 1566

No Cap, No Lie

We take our voices for granted, but it’s truly miraculous that we communicate complex thoughts simply by moving our mouths while exhaling. A fascinating new book reveals the science, history, and linguistics involved in human speech. And...

Coyotito

In Spanish, you can have a siesta, or mid-day nap, but it’s also possible to take un coyotito, literally, “a little coyote,” a slang term for sneaking in a quick snooze, much like a nocturnal coyote curling up for some sleep during...

Halfway Between Depression and Euphoria

John in Bismarck, North Dakota, wants a word that describes a neutral state of emotion, specifically the midpoint between depression and euphoria. Is that insouciant? Apathy? Zen? Affectless? What’s wrong with plain old neutral? This is part...