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Episode 1535

Beside Myself

The new Downton Abbey movie is a luscious treat for fans of the public-television period piece, but how accurate is the script when it comes to the vocabulary of the early 20th century? It may be jarring to hear the word swag, but it was already at...

Semicolon Book

Science historian Cecelia Watson’s splendid new book Semicolon: The Past, Present, and Future of a Misunderstood Mark is her long love letter to an underappreciated punctuation mark. This is part of a complete episode.

Bangorrhea

In her 1958 memoir Beloved Infidel, F. Scott Fitzgerald’s lover Sheilah Graham recalls the famous author’s distaste for exclamation points, the use of which he compared to “laughing at your own joke.” Some have proposed that...

Pronouncing “Colin”

Pity all the fellows named Colin whose name is often mispronounced to rhyme with the punctuation mark (or the body part). General Colin Powell’s rise to public prominence in the 1980’s apparently prompted many people to adopt his unusual...