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Diegetic and Non-Diegetic

In film production, the term diegetic refers to a sound that occurs within the story itself that the characters supposedly hear, whereas non-diegetic sound refers to background music or narration. For example, the tune played by the pianist in...

Gee and Haw

The highly specialized vocabulary of people who work outdoors, communicating with sled dogs, a word from the sport of rock-climbing, church key, browse line, smeuse, nitnoy, mommick, zawn, zwer, boom dog, and I think my pig is whistling.

Gee and Haw in Dog-Sledding

In dogsledding, the exclamations gee and haw are used for left and right respectively. A woman in Fairbanks, Alaska, uses those terms when training her dogs for the Iditarod and wonders about their origin. (As promised, here are her pups.) This is...

Plural of Training

Can the word training be pluralized, as in “How many trainings did you have last week”? Martha and Grant disagree about whether training can be a count noun. This is part of a complete episode.

startle factor

startle factor  n.— «Practical research shows that experienced pilots, with training provided by their airlines in upset recoveries, still struggle to perform when attempting to recover. There are many human factors involved in an actual...

citizen science

citizen science  n.— «The result is an impressively long-running example of “citizen science,” the term for projects in which amateurs gather field data for future research, making up in numbers what we lack in training and...