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Episode 1578

Today I Learned

Youngsters want to know: What’s the difference between barely and nearly, and what’s so clean about a whistle, anyway? Plus, adults recount some misunderstandings from when they were knee-high to a grasshopper. Kids do come up with some...

The Abbreviation for “Number”

A high-schooler in Indianapolis, Indiana, wonders why the word number is abbreviated as no., given that there’s no letter O in the word. The answer lies in the Latin word numero, which is the ablative form of the Latin word for number, numerus. The...

Should Cursive Be Taught in Schools?

Should cursive handwriting be taught in schools? There are compelling arguments on both sides. A handwritten letter or note may carry additional emotional power. Also, to have a yen for something means to yearn for it. It comes from a Chinese word...