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Silent S in Island

If you were stranded on a desert island, wouldn’t you get to thinking how odd it is that we don’t pronounce the s in island? It was added during the Renaissance in an attempt to make the word look more like its Latin source, insula. This...

Devil Strip

What do you call the strip of grass between the street and the sidewalk? Depending on where you live, you may call it a tree lawn, a berm, a city strip, the parking, or one of a host of other regional terms for it. In a small part of the country...

Natural Path

A Wisconsin woman is trying to remember a term for paths in the grass created by pedestrians taking shortcuts. Grant has an answer for her, straight from the jargon of urban planning professionals. The caller also wants recommendations for a good...