World’s Strangest

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The Order of the Occult Hand: A Secret Society of Journalists

How do journalists get into this mysterious group? They must sneak the phrase “It was as if an occult hand had…” past their editors and into published articles. The Order emerged sometime during the 1960s, perhaps when Paul Greenberg was writing for the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette. After an exposé in 2004, Greenberg was eventually forced to come [...]

Watch Thousands of Dolphins Chase a Sailboat

“Superpod” isn’t a phrase you see used often, but it’s appropriate here. Mike Horn and Chase Jarvis were filming a segment for Polyform when the 110-foot boat they were sailing off the coast of Cape Town was suddenly surrounded by thousands of dolphins. It’s gorgeous on film, but the real-life experience left the crew in [...]

The Celebrity Craziness Matrix

We all know celebrities are, to phrase it politely, a little eccentric. But as with all things, some nuts are nuttier than others, and those come in different flavors. The folks at Jest were kind enough to pick out the best and brightest among crazy famous (crazy-famous) people, and then organize them into a comprehensive, [...]

If You Can’t Talk Like a Pirate….

Methinks Bob did not quite understand the original phrase. From Bob the Squirrel by cartoonist Frank Page. Link (Thanks, Frank!)

“Godverdikke! Ken a kapmes in me kop!”

Long, long ago–almost before humans had devised writing–there was a tradition among the people of Usenet of translating the phrase “My God, there’s an axe in my head!” into different languages. The title of this post is just that in the Ostend dialect of Flemish. At the link, you can find one of the oldest and [...]

11 Obscure Regional Phrases We All Should Start Using

REUTERS /KEVIN LAMARQUE /LANDOV Now that you’ve added those 19 distinctly American words to your vocabulary, here are 11 more phrases from different linguistic regions around the country—courtesy of the wonderful Dictionary of American Regional English, edited by Joan Hall, which released its fifth volume this spring. Keep in mind that these phrases are representative not [...]

5 Questions: The Human League

This week’s theme covers musical acts that were popular in the 1980s. As usual, each question contains a word or phrase related to the theme (although the question itself will be unrelated). Today’s 5 Questions quiz: The Human League

5 Questions: The Police

This week’s theme covers musical acts that were popular in the 1980s. As usual, each question contains a word or phrase related to the theme (although the question itself will be unrelated). Today’s 5 Questions quiz: The Police

I Hate It When….

When I saw this at reddit, of course I entered the search term to see if it would autocomplete the same way for me, which it did, and the first search result is a Facebook page. Apparently, the phrase has been around for at least a few days. Link

Footnote Tattoo

N.B. is a common abbreviation for the Latin phrase nota bene — “note well”. It’s an old style of annotation that has sadly passed out of common use. David, the man with this tattoo, says of its meaning “that everything is better with footnotes.” This lovely sentiment so totally non-MLA standards compliant. Link