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Episode 1607

Old College Try

In just seconds, online text generators and chatbots can produce whole paragraphs of sophisticated prose. But what do advances in artificial intelligence mean for writers? What is lost and what’s gained when machine-writing replaces the work...

Episode 1580

Beefed It

The words tough, through, and dough all end in O-U-G-H. So why don’t they rhyme? A lively new book addresses the many quirks of English by explaining the history of words and phrases. And: have you ever been in a situation where a group makes...

Baby Department

Why do department stores label their infants’ section “Baby” instead of “Babies’” à la “Men’s” or “Women’s”? For one, the Baby department includes more than just clothes;...

Irresistible First Lines

“They shot the white girl first.” That’s how Toni Morrison’s novel, Paradise, begins, and it’s a great example of an irresistible first line. Martha shares others sent in by listeners. She also reads from a Michael...