Is a hot dog a sandwich if it’s in a bun? Why or why not? Is a burrito a sandwich? (A Massachusetts judge actually ruled on that question in 2006.) What about a veggie wrap? These kinds of questions about the limits and core meanings of various words are more complicated that you might think. Lexicographers try to tease out the answers when writing dictionary entries. This is part of a complete episode.
- Hell's Half Acre 03/28/2017: Hundreds of years ago, the word girl didn't necessarily mean a female child — in the 14th and 15th centuries, it could refer to a... [more]
- Spanglish at the Border 03/28/2017: A man who divides his time between San Diego, California, and Tijuana, Mexico, wonders if linguistic mixtures similar to Spanglish arise at other borders. Spanglish:... [more]
- Hindi Strength Proverb 03/28/2017: A Hindi proverb that means "unity is strength" literally translates as "one and one make eleven." This is part of a complete episode. ... [more]
- Periods in Acronyms? 03/28/2017: Why, when writing out an abbreviated name like NATO for the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, don't we use periods between the letters to form the... [more]
- Name for the Place Where You Scatter Ashes 03/28/2017: When someone's buried in a cemetery, you can visit their grave. But what do you call the place where you go to visit someone's scattered... [more]