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The Thought Plickens

If you’re inappropriately focused on the minutiae of a project instead of the bigger picture, you’re said to be bike-shedding. Grant talks about that modern slang term and Martha discusses a word that goes way back in time, right back to...

Swan Song

Where’d we get the term swan song? A caller says this expression came up in conversation just before her retirement and she wonders about its origin. Martha reads email from listeners suggesting alternatives to the word retirement. This is...

NORC

NORC  n.— «As a model for Wayland and Lincoln, BHV is an example of what had recently come to be called “naturally occurring retirement communities,” or “NORCs,” in areas in which a large segment of the residents...

lifecycle fund

lifecycle fund  n.—Gloss: An investment arrangement in which money is invested in safer securities and investments as a person grows older. «The funds, also known as lifecycle funds, are designed to minimize risk by shifting the...

More on the Secret Languages of Families

Greetings, workers of the world! This is another newsletter from A Way with Words. This past weekend's show was re-run about the secret words of families. Give it a spin: We also talked about "knocked up," "the real...

Rehirees

A husband and wife are retiring after many years on the job. But they’re keeping their options open for future employment, and don’t want to be called retirees. The word retirees isn’t enough to connote the more “dynamic and...

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