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Episode 1612

Fair Dinkum

A magnificent new book celebrates the richness and diversity of 450 years of written and spoken English in what is now the United States. It’s called The People’s Tongue, and it’s a sumptuous collection of essays, letters, poems...

Episode 1534

Skookum

So you’ve long dreamed of writing fiction, but don’t know where to begin? There are lots of ways to get started — creative writing classes, local writing groups, and books with prompts to get you going. The key is to get started, and...

Episode 1431

Beat the Band

Can language change bad behavior in crowded places? The Irish Railway system has launched an ad campaign to encourage passengers to be more generous at boarding time. For example, have you ever rummaged through your belongings or pretended to have...

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...

Nothing to Say

Like the boy when the calf ran over him, “I had nothing to say,” is an old saying describing someone who’s speechless, and goes back to the mid-19th century. This is part of a complete episode.

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