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Flash Memory Device

Do you store files on a flash drive, a thumb drive, a USB stick — or perhaps on a monkey? What do you call the little device that holds flash memory and goes into the USB drive of a computer? Some come in wild forms, like sushi or animals. This is...

Shake a Stick At

Where do we get the expression more than you can shake a stick at? It probably just derives from counting. Imagine herdsmen bringing in their cattle or sheep at the end of the day, pointing with a stick in order to do a headcount. This is part of a...

Atavistic Words

You know those words whose meanings never seem to stick in your mind, no matter how many times you flip back to the dictionary? Martha wrestles with the term atavistic, meaning “the tendency to revert to ancestral characteristics.” She...

Try And vs Try To

Should we use try and or try to? Merriam-Webster’s Dictionary of English Usage says it’s grammatically permissible to “try and go to the store,” or to ask someone to “try and speak up.” However, a fan of formality...

pee stick

pee stick  n.—Gloss: A long, thin device on which a woman urinates in order to determine if she is pregnant. Note: Common but as far as can be told unrecorded in dictionaries. «Does the newly designed 2010 Olympic torch look like a joint...

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