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Sorry Assiduous (adj.) SAT-Takers, Linguist In Dudgeon (n.) Over Vocab Flashcards

Many students prepare for the SAT by drilling themselves on esoteric, arcane and recondite words — like esoteric, arcane and recondite. Linguist Geoff Nunberg doesn't discourage these efforts, but he does have a word of caution: memorizing a definition is hardly the same as learning a new word.
NPR

A Navy Man's Argument That Cutting Pensions Might Be Good

Bryan McGrath spent 21 years in the United States Navy before retiring. He now works as a defense contractor, and he believes that it's not necessarily a bad thing that military pensions are changing. NPR's Rachel Martin reports.
NPR

Narcissistic Or Not, 'Selfie' Is Nunberg's Word Of The Year

Linguist Geoff Nunberg says he feels a little defensive about choosing "selfie" — a word that wears its ephemerality on its outstretched sleeve — as the word of 2013. But not only was this a year when we couldn't stop posting photos of ourselves online; we couldn't stop talking about it either.
NPR

I Love To Shop, But Do I Have A Shopping Problem?

Sophie Varon loves to shop. The store Forever 21 is her weakness. And lately, she's been wondering if her shopping habit has become a shopping problem.
NPR

Letters: Shipping Forecast-Inspired Music And Nostalgia

Audie Cornish and Melissa Block read emails from listeners about Philip Reeves' report about the BBC's Shipping Forecast, a maritime weather forecast treasured by sea-farers and land lubbers alike.
NPR

A Baby Who Saved Her Family From 'The Dark Moments'

Maria Vasquez-Rojas was thrilled when she learned she was pregnant. But soon afterward she was diagnosed with ovarian cancer — at the same time her brother Francisco was struggling with drug addiction. Maria's daughter's birth has transformed not just Maria's life, but Francisco's, too.
NPR

Ted Koppel: Mandela's Long Prison Term Helped Preserve His Image

Former Nightline host and NPR contributor Ted Koppel interviewed Nelson Mandela. Koppel says that Mandela is deservedly seen as a great man, but that one of the keys to his exalted status is that for 27 years he was behind bars, hidden from the kind of scrutiny and decision-making that can turn heroes into mere mortals.
NPR

Debate: Should We Avoid Eating Anything With A Face?

A doctor, a vegan, a researcher and a farmer recently waded into a hot-button topic in the food world: Is it a bad idea to eat meat? They delve into the medical, ethical and environmental arguments in the latest Intelligence Squared U.S.
NPR

Should Character Count In Sports Awards?

When it comes to awards in theater or television or dance or literature, Frank Deford observes, candidates don't worry about losing out because of a personal flaw. Only sports applies that off-the-field standard.
NPR

The Man, The Myth, The Reading List: Nelson Mandela

Nelson Mandela is the former president of South Africa and famed leader of the anti-apartheid movement. Blogger and professor Sean Jacobs recommends three books that explore the leader's life and legacy in great detail.

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