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Busted Melon

When writing textbooks about slavery, which words best reflect its cold, hard reality? Some historians are dropping the word slave in favor of terms like enslaved person and captive, arguing that these terms are more accurate. And raising a...

Etymology of Cameroon

The country of Cameroon is so named because a 15th-century Portuguese explorer was so struck by the abundance of shrimp in a local river, he dubbed it Rio dos Camaroes, or “river of shrimp.” This is part of a complete episode.

Blind Tiger

When you pick up a book of poems, how many do you read in one sitting? Some people devour several in a row, while others savor them much more slowly. Plus, it’s a problem faced by politicians and public speakers: When you have to stand in...

Shrilk

Shrilk, a new substance made out of shrimp shells and silk, is gaining popularity as a substitute for plastic. We can still pretty much guarantee that, “One word: shrilk,” will never be a classic movie line. This is part of a complete...

Idiom’s Delight

A recent study found that some names crop up more frequently than others in certain professions. The name William is especially common among attorneys–and graphic designers include a higher-than-average number of Jessicas. Plus, picturesque...