The Logophile: Kitchen Carnage

Test your word knowledge with these cooking mishaps.


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  1. The box grater looked ______ until Jim scraped his knuckles against it.
    a. innocuous
    b. inocuous
  2. He pressed a napkin to his fingers to ______ the flow of blood.
    a. stanch
    b. staunch
  3. If you were to begin writing out the names of the whole numbers in order, starting with one, which letter would you get to use first, a, b, or c?










  1. a. innocuous
  2. a. stanch
  3. a, which first appears in one thousand. The first b is in one billion, and c doesn’t come up until one octillion — that’s 1 followed by 27 zeroes.

Andy Hollandbeck is the Post’s copy editor and managing editor.

This article appears in the January/February 2023 issue of The Saturday Evening Post. Subscribe to the magazine for more art, inspiring stories, fiction, humor, and features from our archives.

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  1. I got the first two right, but had no idea on number 3. Never heard of octillion before. What kind of a wild orbit would you even find that one in?!


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