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Joy for Word Nerds

My subscription to the Atlantic Monthly ends soon, and I'm going to let it lapse because I don't have enough free time to truly enjoy it, but I'll definitely miss the back page column The Court Record. If you're into word usage, origins, or word play then you should check out the archives.

This month, you'll learn that the phrase "robins' egg blue" is distinctly American because only American Robins lay blue-colored eggs. In Europe, there's a completely different species of red-chested bird which lays brown eggs. Why the difference? American settlers mistook the red-chested bird in the new land to be the same as the one back home, and stuck it with the same name.

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