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Pronouncing Zoology

Jimmy and his high-school classmates wonder about the pronunciation of words like zooplankton, zoology, and zoological. The traditional pronunciation for many scientific terms that start with zoo- is to use a long o rather than an oo sound. The...

Train of Thought Before Trains?

Gary in San Antonio, Texas, wonders if the term train of thought, meaning a line of reasoning or narrative, predates locomotives. It does indeed, going back to the idea of train meaning anything trailing behind, like a bridal train. This is part of...

Where Bell Peppers are Mangos

A woman who relocated from the eastern United States to Evansville, Indiana, was confused when her mother-in-law there asked her to bring in some mangoes from the garden, since tropical fruits don’t grow in the Midwest. In that part of the...