Rodney in Suffolk, Virginia, is interested in the word tattoo. His grandmother didn’t use it to mean skin art. She used it to rave about seeing a great concert or band: “It was just such a wonderful tattoo!” It might have something to do with a musical military tradition involving a tattoo (of Dutch origin) that is unrelated to the skin tattoo (which has a Tahitian origin). This is part of a complete episode.
- Flop Sweat 07/24/2017: Gerrymandering draws political boundaries to tip elections towards certain political parties. Originally, the word was pronounced "GARY-mandering" with a hard "g." But why? And why... [more]
- Smile Belt 07/17/2017: The only time you'll ever see the sun's outer atmosphere is during a full solar eclipse, when sun itself is completely covered. That hazy ring... [more]
- A Shoo-in 07/10/2017: This week it’s butterflies, belly flowers, plot bunnies, foxes, and cuckoos. Also, writing advice from Mark Twain and a wonderful bit of prose from Sara... [more]
- Noon of Night 06/26/2017: As a kid, you may have played that game where you phone someone to say, "Is your refrigerator running? Then you better go catch it!"... [more]
- Boss of Me 06/17/2017: If you want to be a better writer, try skipping today's bestsellers, and read one from the 1930's instead. Or read something besides fiction in... [more]