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Episode 1595

All That and a Bag of Chips

We tend to take the index of a book for granted, but centuries ago, these helpful lists were viewed with suspicion. Some even worried that indexes would harm reading comprehension! A witty new book tells the story. Plus, the Latin term bona fides...

Jockey Box

A bartender wonders about the origin of the term jockey box. In his world, a jockey box is a metal container for ice. However, in some parts of the western U.S., a jockey box is the glove compartment of a car, and much earlier, the term referred to...

Defining “Spatula”

A Texas listener recounts an ongoing debate in her family’s kitchen over the exact definition of the word spatula. Is it the kitchen tool used to spread icing and level measuring cups? Something you use to flip a pancake? That item with the...

Office 2.0

Office 2.0  n.— «Savvy office workers frustrated that their on-the-job computer tools don’t function as smoothly as, say, an Apple iPod are taking matters into their own hands. No longer are they relying on company technicians, or...

Martha’s Tricks for Lay vs. Lie

It’s one of the biggest grammatical bugaboos of all, the one that bedevils even the most earnest English students: Is it lie or lay? Martha shares a trick for remembering the difference. See below for her clip-and-save chart of these verbs...

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