The Oxford English Dictionary needs your help. Do you know where words like disco, baked Alaska or email come from? For years the widely regarded authority in the English language has asked the public for help tracking down the history of words and phrases. Yet as our lexicon evolves, the mission grows even tougher. A new initiative called OED Appeals hopes to solve that problem by using that same crowdsourcing approach online.
This is TALK OF THE NATION. I'm Neal Conan broadcasting today from the University of Missouri St. Louis at Grand Center, home of St. Louis Public Radio. T.S. Eliot, who grew up here, wrote a poem about the Mississippi, which flows about three miles from here.
President Obama and his Republican challenger Mitt Romney face off in Denver Wednesday for the first of three presidential debates. The president continues to hold a slight lead in many swing states, but Romney's been able to close the gap in the weeks since the conventions.
Over the last few years, singer-songwriter Mary Chapin Carpenter's life has been drastically transformed. In 2007, she suffered a life-threatening pulmonary embolism, her marriage ended soon after and, in the fall of 2011, her father died.
After those experiences, she tells NPR's Neal Conan, grief became a companion — but also a guide, a presence that dictated her outlook on life. The Grammy-winning artist channeled those emotions into her latest album, Ashes and Roses.
Arnold Schwarzenegger has lived a long life in just 65 years. An immigrant who grew up poor, he came to the United States to achieve his goals and succeed. As a bodybuilder, he took a quirky culture and helped turn it into an internationally recognized sport.
As an Austrian who could hardly speak English, Schwarzenegger somehow rose to fame in Hollywood, landing blockbuster roles and making millions. And once he conquered the silver screen, he became a politician who sought to apply his own life lessons to the public sphere.
Originally published on Tue October 2, 2012 1:35 pm
The Oakland A's are headed to the playoffs for the first time in six years, and Washington's Nationals brought the pennant home for the first time since the Senators did it back in 1933. NPR's Mike Pesca talks about the surprises, the end of the baseball season and the outlook for the playoffs.
Elections in Georgia, Ukraine and Lithuania are being closely watched in the West as a test of whether former Soviet states will shift closer to Russia. Russian president Vladimir Putin, for his part, has made political, economic and security reintegration of former Soviet republics a priority.
With the presidential election a month away, the Court may soon weigh in on several contentious cases. Los Angeles Times Supreme Court correspondent David Savage talks about the upcoming session and whether the Court can insulate itself from the heat of this political season.
NPR's Ari Shapiro spent a week in one city in a battleground state, Colorado Springs, where campaign spending has tripled since 2008. He discovered how it's changing, and the campaign strategy behind targeting specific ads for specific markets in hopes of winning over undecided voters.