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The Origin of “Mall” in Shopping Mall

The word mall, as in shopping mall, has traveled a long and winding path, beginning with the Italian game of pallamaglio, which was played with a ball and a mallet. The name of the game found its way into French as pallemaille, which in turn became...

Micro-Housing Words

The housing shortage in crowded urban areas has led to ever smaller domiciles known as micro-units. Even smaller ones are sometimes called nano units or gnat flats. This is part of a complete episode.

Daylighting Rivers

Daylighting refers to uncovering built-over rivers and streams and reintegrating them into the urban landscape. This is part of a complete episode.

BANANA Acronym

The acronym NIMBY stands for “Not In My Back Yard.” A more emphatic version used among urban planners is BANANA, which stands for Build Absolutely Nothing Anywhere Near Anyone. This is part of a complete episode.

Yuppies and Dinks

Betamax players and hair metal bands may be trapped in the 1980’s, but the term yuppie, meaning young urban professional, is alive and well. Dink, meaning dual income, no kids, is also worth throwing around in a marketing presentation. This is...

Urban Speech in India

If you live in a city in India, you probably have at least some facility in at least two languages. As Salman Rushdie once observed: “If you listen to the urban speech patterns there you’ll find it’s quite characteristic that a...