Author: Samantha Enslen

Samantha Enslen is an award-winning writer who has worked in publishing for more than 20 years. She runs Dragonfly Editorial, an agency that provides copywriting, editing, and design for scientific, medical, technical, and corporate materials. Sam is the vice president of ACES, The Society for Editing, and is the managing editor of Tracking Changes, ACES' quarterly journal.


To read the riot act means to put someone on notice that their behavior is unacceptable. Antisocial. Just plain wrong! When you were a kid, your mom probably read you the riot act many times. Maybe when you sat on the couch with muddy clothes. Or showed up at 4:00 a.m. when you had a midnight curfew. But is there an actual Riot Act? And does it have to be read aloud? Yes and yes. “The Riot Act” is shorthand for a long law passed by the British Parliament in 1714. Its official name is “An Act for preventing tumults…

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One of our readers, Kris G., wrote that she loved our episode on German chocolate cake and how it isn’t really German. Now she’s wondering whether other foods with a regional name really come from that region. Let’s find out! In short, it varies. Some food names are accurate: Brie cheese really comes from Brie, France. Other names are nonsensical. The Jerusalem artichoke is not from Jerusalem—nor is it an artichoke! It is edible, but it’s from North America, and its roots look more like potatoes than artichokes. Here’s the scoop on a few other “regional” food names. The Realists…

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