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Reader Offers a Clever 'Why's Crack?' Sep. 04, 2019

The Word Guy

Q: Why is the adjective "crack" used to describe someone who's good at something, as in a "crack sho... Read More

Baseball Is Life Sep. 04, 2019


A new study finds that major league baseball players tend to fare better, healthwise, than the gener... Read More

Porcelain Dinnerware Decorated With Violets Aug. 30, 2019

Antique or Junque

Q: This is a picture of one of the plates in a service-for-eight dinnerware set we purchased when we... Read More

Newspaper Nomenclature Has Nautical Nature Aug. 28, 2019

The Word Guy

Q: I've noticed that the word "masthead" is often used to refer to the name on the front page of a p... Read More

Happy Birthday, President Clinton Aug. 23, 2019

Susan Estrich

On the occasion of Bill Clinton's 73rd birthday, the chattering class has come to bury the president... Read More

A Colorful Stellar Pair Aug. 22, 2019


Week of Aug. 25-31, 2019 Summer is a wonderful time for stargazing. Not only is the nighttime weathe... Read More

Using 'Times Less' Subtracts From Clarity Aug. 21, 2019

The Word Guy

Q: I see the following two phrases all too often: 1) "Three (or two or four) times less." I would th... Read More

Monk Figure Made by Van de Meulebroucke Aug. 16, 2019

Antique or Junque

Q: I have enclosed a photo of a monk figure that was given to me many years ago. It is made of some ... Read More

How Bright Are the Stars? Aug. 15, 2019


Week of Aug. 18-24, 2019 Open any book or magazine about astronomy and you're likely to encounter th... Read More

'Trooper' Trope Troubles Troupers Aug. 14, 2019

The Word Guy

Q: The lead character in the comic strip "Rex Morgan, M.D." recently referred to someone as a "real ... Read More

Little Big Moon Aug. 08, 2019


Week of Aug. 11-17, 2019 One of the most beautiful sights in nature is a massive, full moon rising o... Read More

Turn On, Tune In, Drop Album Aug. 07, 2019

The Word Guy

Q: Musicians used to "release" a new album, but now a new album is "dropped." What the heck is that?... Read More

Being a Racist Is Easy Today Jul. 31, 2019

Walter E. Williams

Years ago, it was hard to be a racist. You had to be fitted for and spend money on a white gown and ... Read More

When Modifiers Unbuckle, They Give Us a Chuckle Jul. 31, 2019

The Word Guy

"Watch the birds as they hunt for fish using your own binoculars." Will the birds swoop down and gra... Read More

New Verb Provides an 'Other' Perspective Jul. 24, 2019

The Word Guy

In a recent op-ed piece urging us to welcome and celebrate differences among people, Trinity College... Read More

Vintage Canister Set Was Made in Germany Jul. 19, 2019

Antique or Junque

Q: I was given the ceramic canister set seen in this photo almost 30 years ago. All 12 pieces are de... Read More

The Great Summer Triangle Jul. 18, 2019


Week of July 21-27, 2019 Now that we in the Northern Hemisphere are firmly rooted in summertime, we ... Read More

Full Speed 'Ahead'! Jul. 17, 2019

The Word Guy

Some random dispatches from the Word Front ... — Off With Their "Aheads": When did "ahead of"... Read More

Space Age Lingo Is Still in Orbit Jul. 10, 2019

The Word Guy

As the 50th anniversary of the Apollo moon landing blasts off, commentators will surely cite the spa... Read More

Evangeline Passes Jul. 08, 2019

Marc Dion

I had a pickup truck. Her bloodline is not important, though I will say she was a 2001 and white in ... Read More