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Are Surprises Inherently Positive?

Nadine in San Antonio, Texas, disagrees with her boyfriend, who insists that the word surprise suggests something inherently good, so it’s impossible to call something a bad surprise. A quick look at data from the Brigham Young University...

Newsletter: Meet Us at the Museum

Hey, there! A happy post-election season to you. We hope our friends on the east coast are fully powered, dry, and warm. And everywhere else, we hope your recycling is overflowing with campaign signs. Here’s what we’ve been up to: brand...

dark week

dark week  n.— «Demand has been so strong that booksellers and wholesalers were unable to get copies a short time after it hit stores, creating what the publishing industry calls a “dark week.” One experienced publishing...

body bag speedball

body bag speedball  n.— «As Hobbs and an initial element stormed the farmhouse Monday morning, a second group lugged an enormous human remains pouch filled with water, ammunition and other supplies. Soldiers call this particular form of...

thundersnow

thundersnow  n.— «The storm did come with a novelty act as residents were treated to a rare meteorological phenomenon called thundersnow, which is caused from the upward motion of a cold front when temperatures are near freezing. And that...

informal housing

informal housing  n.— «“So with a shortfall as big as that, is it any surprise that the prices have sky-rocketed and informal housing has grown beyond control?” he asks. Informal housing is estate agents’ parlance for slums, in which...