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Episode 1397

Hard Words Are Hard

The SAT is changing things up, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing. Just because words like membranous are no longer in the verbal section doesn’t mean kids aren’t learning important vocabulary. And speaking of useful terms...

SAT Revision

The SAT is cutting depreciatory and membranous from the verbal section of the test, but don’t go insane in the membrane—there’s been no depreciation in knowledge among the youth. This is part of a complete episode.


If someone’s in a swivet, they’re flustered or in distress. For example, you might be in a swivel if you’re late for a meeting or you’ve shown up to the SAT without a No. 2 pencil. This is part of a complete episode.

Poem about Telling Stories

Grant reads from a listener’s favorite poem by Lisel Mueller called “Why We Tell Stories.” It reads in part: “We sat by the fire in our caves,/ and because we were poor, we made up a tale/ about a treasure mountain/ that...


quintfecta  n.— «Several years ago, one of the regulars on this newsgroup (Ron Medley? AsiaSunset?) dubbed the 1600 + 800+800+800 achievement the “quintfecta.”» —“Re: SAT Scores and College Admission” by Gary...

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