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B-Flat Meaning Ordinary

Rachel from Harrogate, Tennessee, says when she was growing up in the Cincinnati, Ohio, area, she and her fellow musicians used the term B-flat as slang for “ordinary” or “average.” In the 1938 publication New York Panorama...

Thank You, Ma’am, Road Bump

Following up on our talk about regional terms for a small, raised section of road, such as tickle bump and belly-tickler, Martha shares a passage from The Guardian Angel by Oliver Wendell Holmes, which references another term for that kind of bump...

Think and Grin

The “Think and Grin” section of Boy’s Life magazine has some pretty corny jokes, including one about a parking space. This is part of a complete episode.

Boy’s Life Humor

The “Think and Grin” section of Boy’s Life magazine has some pretty silly humor, especially in issues from the 1950’s. This is part of a complete episode.

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.

Baby Department

Why do department stores label their infants’ section “Baby” instead of “Babies’” à la “Men’s” or “Women’s”? For one, the Baby department includes more than just clothes;...