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Webster’s Campaign for American Orthography

There’s no difference in meaning between center and centre, but there is an interesting story behind the change in spelling. In the early 19th century, independence-minded lexicographer Noah Webster campaigned for a new American orthography...

Sweet Soup

What is sweet soup? It’s a Wisconsin specialty, made of cherry or raspberry juice mixed with prunes, raisins, and tapioca, and served either warm or cold. This is part of a complete episode.

Kissing Games

What’s the best way to help your child learn to speak a foreign language? One option is an immersion school, where teachers avoid speaking English. Also, did you ever play padiddle while riding in a car? Plus, what your signature says about...

Soup to Nuts

If something is described as soup to nuts, it’s “the whole thing” or it “runs the gamut.” The phrase refers to an old-fashioned way of dining, beginning with soup and ending with nuts for dessert. The ancient Romans...

Entrees

Why are main courses called entrees in the US? Why isn’t the entree the first course of a meal? In 19th Century Britain, the entree came after a course of soup or fish, but before the main portion of the meal, such as a boar’s head. Over...

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