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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...

Lick the Calf Over

In response to our earlier conversation about the phrase to lick the cat over, meaning to repeat a laborious process, many listeners say they use the phrase lick the calf over to mean the same thing. Among the writers who have used it this way: Zora...

Episode 1518

One-Armed Paper Hanger

The emotional appeal of handwriting and the emotional reveal of animal phrases. Should children be taught cursive writing in school, or is their time better spent studying other things? A handwritten note and a typed one may use the very same words...

Insidious Ruse Wordplay

Melinda in Indianapolis, Indiana, shares a bit of wordplay in which someone is invited to repeat such phrases as “I’m a brass lock” and “I’m a brass key,” all leading up to a punchline in which the repeater is...