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Pandemic Pangram

In response to our conversation about pangrams, those sentences that use every letter of the alphabet at least once, Sarah McCall sent us this advice: Just mask up and be extra careful that you don’t quit always sanitizing everything. This is...

Time Machine

After Sarah moved from Wisconsin to Iowa, she sparked some momentary confusion when she asked a store clerk where his TYME machine was. In parts of Wisconsin, Florida, and Michigan there are automated teller machines, or ATMs, called TYME machines...

Slushburger

Sarah from Moorhead, Minnesota, emailed a story from her early days of teaching in North Dakota. While reading the lunch menu to her students, she was flabbergasted to see that the day’s fare included something called slushburgers. She’d...

What is a Sandwich?

Sarah from Dallas called us years ago to talk about the word preheat. Now newly married, she and her Russian husband have a friendly dispute over this question: “What is a sandwich?” We gingerly wade into the longstanding cultural debate...

Shoelace Express

Sarah in Fairbanks, Alaska, has a term to add to our discussion about colloquial terms for traveling on foot, like shank’s mare, chevrolegs, and getting a ride with Pat and Charlie: taking the shoelace express. This is part of a complete...

Episode 1506

Oh, For Cute!

A stereotype is a preconceived notion about a person or group. Originally, though, the word stereotype referred to a printing device used to produce lots of identical copies. • The link between tiny mythical creatures called trolls and modern-day...