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What To Call a Parent Who Loses a Child

Although in English we have the terms orphan, widow, and widower, our language lacks a one-word term that means “bereaved parent.” A few other languages have a word for this, including Hebrew sh’khol and Sanskrit vilomah. This is...

Vowel Mergers

A Dallas, Texas, caller says his girlfriend from a rural part of his state has an unusual way of pronouncing certain words. Email sounds like EE-mill, toenail like TOW-nell, and tell-tale like TELL-tell. These sounds are the result of a well-known...

Canadian Vowels

A Dallas listener says he was confused at first when a friend from rural North Dakota reported coming home and finding a moose in his kitchen. Only later did he learn what difference the so-called Canadian raising of a vowel can make. More about...

Awkward Turtle

Do you say something happened on accident or by accident? Is text-messaging destroying our kids’ writing ability? Where do horseradish, zarf, and ignoramus come from?

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