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Episode 1437

Wolf Whistle

Gifts for book lovers: Martha recommends one for lovers of libraries and another for students of Spanish. Grant suggests some enchanting novels for young readers. When it comes to books, though, you can’t always judge them by their original...

Phonaesthesia Word Connotations

Why do words that begin with sn—sneer, snarl, snot, snide, snake, snooty—all have negative connotations? Phonaesthesia, a phenomenon whereby we associate certain sounds with particular meanings, may hold the answer. Linguist and cognitive scientist...

Episode 1412

Buckle Down

It’s time for book recommendations! Martha’s enjoying an armchair tour of important places in the history of our language, and Grant recommends relaxing with books that make great reading for both children and adults. Plus, are you the...

Curse of Knowledge

It’s all about terms of endearment: If your loved one is far away for a long time, you’re probably tired of just saying “I miss you” over and over. For variety’s sake, there are some creative alternatives to that phrase...

That Song in Your Head

If someone clapped out the rhythm of a song you knew, would you recognize it? It’s pretty unlikely, given what’s called the curse of knowledge. To the person with the song in their head, it’s obvious, but you can’t expect...

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