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Where Does the Word “Boolean” Come From?

An industrial-design student in Savannah, Georgia, uses Boolean software for making 3-D renderings. Why Boolean ? The term honors the brilliant autodidact George Boole, who helped pioneer the use of binary computing language and Boolean logic. This...

Paging Dr. Armstrong

Some medical facilities use a secret code when the staff needs assistance to handle an unruly or agitated visitor. When the message Paging Dr. Armstrong goes out over the speaker system, it’s a call for this kind of help. This is part of a...

See You in the Funny Papers

Crystal in Huntsville, Alabama, wonders about the expression See you in the funny papers, which her in-laws use when tucking the grandkids into bed. See you in the funny papers, See you in the funny pages, See you in the funnies, and See you in the...

Barge, a Bit of Older Santa Cruz Slang

When Sarah, of Yorktown, Virginia, moved to Santa Cruz, California, in her teens, she was intrigued by skateboard slang, particularly the use of the word barge to indicate “a challenging feat” or “a long distance.” This is...

Janky, a Fifty-Year Slang Summary

Melanie from San Antonio, Texas, uses the term janky to mean “not good ” or “not working well,” and in her family, they’ll jokingly use the term dejankify and dejankification to refer to washing their dog. The slang...