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Episode 1601

Funny Papers

There are word nerds, and then there’s the woman who set up a folding chair on sidewalks throughout the country, cheerfully dispensing tips about grammar. She recounts her adventures in a new book. And the story of the brilliant pioneer of...

Why “Comb” in “Comb Graves”?

Comb graves, featuring two long slabs laid over the grave to form a peaked roof, are found in parts of the Southern United States, but primarily in Tennessee. Comb in this sense is an architectural word that refers to “the peak of a...

dead man

dead man  n.— «Another event at the camp out was the technique for setting up a tent. Instead of conventional stakes for sticking the tent down, in snow another method called a “dead man” is used. The method requires several...

crunchy

crunchy  n.— «Others in the Army call them grunts, or trigger pullers, or crunchies, for the sound of a tank rolling over a dead soldier. Sgt. Allan Toney has heard them all. “Bullet taker, bullet sponge, bullet stopper,” he...

bullet sponge

bullet sponge  n.— «Others in the Army call them grunts, or trigger pullers, or crunchies, for the sound of a tank rolling over a dead soldier. Sgt. Allan Toney has heard them all. “Bullet taker, bullet sponge, bullet stopper,”...