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Episode 1515

Colonial English

The anatomy of effective prose, and the poetry of anatomy. Ever wonder what it’d be like to audit a class taught by a famous writer? A graduate student’s essay offers a taste of a semester studying with author Annie Dillard. Also, what...

Lick the Cat Over

Debra in Gates, North Carolina, says that her husband tries to do things right the first time because, as he puts it, he doesn’t like licking the cat over. To have to lick the cat over is to have to repeat a laborious process for a second time...

Eat the Grindstone

The books we love as children may influence our careers more than we realize. As a child, Martha was fascinated with stories of cracking codes, and Grant loved books with glossaries–not that far from the kind of work they do today. A caller...

Don’t Chew Cabbage Twice

The saying “I don’t chew my cabbage twice,” means I’m not going to repeat myself. The ancient Romans, by the way, ate cabbage as a protection against hangovers, but detested the smell of twice-cooked cabbage. This is part of...

Musical Repeats

Some musicians are having a dispute over the word repeat: If the conductor says, “Repeat this section two times,” how many times should they play the passage? Twice? Three times? This is part of a complete episode.

pass-back

pass-back  n.— «In the past, Spa GP had used paper tickets, which had to be visually checked by stadium employees as ticket-holders arrived. This process often led to long queues as visitors entered the stadium. Spa GP had also struggled...