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Episode 1464

Lie Like a Rug

The words we choose can change attitudes — and change lives. A swing-dance instructor has switched to gender-neutral language when teaching couples. He says that using words like “leader” and “follower” actually works better...

Episode 1466

Charismatic Megafauna

Choosing language that helps resolve interpersonal conflict. Sometimes a question is really just a veiled form of criticism and understanding the difference between “ask culture” and “guess culture” can help you know how to...

Episode 1424

There Once Was a Gal

Ever try to write a well-known passage in limerick form? It’s harder than you think. How about this one: “There once was a lady who’s sure / All that glitters is golden and pure/ There’s a stairway that heads up to heaven...

Old Scratch

A longstanding injunction against mentioning the devil by name is the reason why terms like Old Ned, Old Billy, and Old Scratch have come to be euphemisms for his unholiness. This is part of a complete episode.

Can of Worms

What do you call a guy with a bald pate? A chrome dome? Maybe the lucky fellow is sporting a solar panel for a sex machine. Also, which would you rather open: a can of worms or Pandora’s box? Plus, ordinary vs. ornery, versing vs. versus...

Acnestis

Need a word for the place on your back that you can’t reach to scratch? Martha has it for you. This is part of a complete episode.