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Self-Licking Organizations

The terms self-licking ice cream cone, self-eating watermelon, and self-licking lollipop all refer to organizations, such as governmental bureaucracies, that appear to exist solely for the sake of perpetuating themselves. This is part of a complete...

Kit and Kaboodle

If we’re talking about the whole lot of something, we call it the whole kit and kaboodle. But what’s a kaboodle? In Dutch, a “kit en boedel” refer to a house and everything in it. For the sake of the English idiom, we just...

Should Schools Teach Cursive Writing?

Should educators continue to teach cursive writing in school? For the sake of learning to read old documents and honing their hand-eye skills, many say “yes.” Most current teaching standards, however, require only keyboard training, not...

Not My Forte

Is it worth using proper pronunciation if it makes you sound ignorant or misinformed? Contrary to the common understanding, the word forte is actually pronounced “fort.” Grant describes forte as a skunked word; it’s a losing...

meso

meso  n.— «At 42, he was dead. The killer: mesothelioma, a cancer linked to asbestos.…Today, a group of people affected by the deadly disease, which they refer to as “meso” for simplicity’s sake, gathered at the Marriott in...

double-high

double-high  n.— «When there are followers, there must be leaders and this is the second kind of authoritarian personality that has been studied in only recent years. The most extreme of these are what John Dean refers to as double-highs;...