Super Tuesday is the day on which most states hold their primaries. Its darker partner is Dirty Tricks Thursday: the Thursday before an election when candidates release scandalous stories to garner bad publicity for their opponent: the timing means the accused will have little time to refute the allegations.
There is an art to eavesdropping, but I think to some extent we are all guilty of picking up those little odds and ends that can be quite intriguing if you analyse them.
If you eat foie gras, I would really urge you to look at the practice that goes in to producing it. It is totally barbaric and involves force-feeding on the most horrific scale imaginable.
My work, my love of words, became my refuge, both when I was working on bilingual dictionaries for Oxford University Press and then via my involvement with 'Countdown' - and now 'Catsdown,' as I call it.
Friable isn't often used of food, yet its meaning lends itself perfectly to pastry and crumbly biscuits.
In many cases, the line between a thriller and a crime novel has become too blurred to be useful.
I'm not a brazen extrovert, but I'm not as blushing or demure as people might think.
Slang has always moved this way. From Cockney rhyming slang to codes swapped among highwaymen, they're tribal badges of identity, bonding mechanisms designed to distinguish the initiated, and to keep strangers out.
Booze' was once a popular term in the slang or 'cant' of the criminal underworld, which may explain its rebellious overtones today.
Probably my favourite winter-word of all. Apricity is the warmth of the sun on a chilly day.
I work with the Oxford Dictionary databases, which sounds really boring, but they're actually fascinating as they show you how current words are being used.
As dialect began to be collected in the late 19th century, such words as Yorkshire's 'gobslotch' emerged, revealing the burgeoning association between gluttony and stupidity.
As a nation we love our dialects, and there is a lot of regional variance in the names for different foods - barmcake, bap or bun anyone?
The earliest dictionaries were collections of criminal slang, swapped amongst ne'er-do-wells as a means of evading the authorities or indeed any outsider who might threaten the trade.
In the middle of the 20th century, aspirations to sound 'proper' were passionately pursued. Dictionaries as late as the Seventies include many pronunciations that could cut the proverbial glass.
The character of our language defines us, and dictionaries say as much about us as about the way we speak.
I've been obsessed with words since I was a little girl, and I am fortunate that each week as resident word expert on 'Countdown' I am ideally placed to quiz my guests in dictionary corner about the words and phrases they use.
I don't intentionally eavesdrop. I'm not looking for salacious gossip, I'm just looking for vocabulary items.
The term 'psychological thriller' is an elastic one these days, tagged liberally on to any story of suspense that explores motivations while keeping blood and chainsaws to a minimum.
I like to introduce a few lost gems when I can to fellow word-lovers, and would genuinely love some of them to make a comeback.