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My Beautiful Stutter

The documentary My Beautiful Stutter follows youngsters at a summer camp run by SAY: The Stuttering Association for the Young. There young people who stutter find acceptance, support, and confidence for navigating the larger world. This is part of a...

Sauregurkenzeit: Sour Pickle Time

For German speakers, Sauregurkenzeit is that period of time in late summer when nothing much is happening, known in English as the dog days. The German term derives from sauer, “sour,” and Gurke “cucumber,” plus Zeit or...

Las Caniculas

A San Antonio, Texas, listener recalls hearing the term las caniculas to denote a period of 12 days in January where the weather seems to run the gamut of all the kinds of weather that will be experienced in the coming year. This period is also...

Hannah, the Sun

Among some African-Americans, the term Hannah means “the sun.” This sense is memorialized in the lyrics of “Go Down Old Hannah,” a work song from the 1930s. One writer said of this haunting melody: “About 3...

Summer 2012 Books

Grant and Martha have summer reading suggestions. Grant’s going through books by great women in show business — Tallulah Bankhead, Mindy Kaling, and Tina Fey. Martha finally got a Kindle, and is starting with Herman Melville’s classic...

Unicycles

A unicycle enthusiast wonders if his unicycle can be properly called a bike. To avoid the four-syllable mouthful, the unicycle community (yes, there is one) sometimes calls it a uni, but for the general public, the term “bike” works...