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Writers Preserve American Landscape Words

A group of writers has collected more than 800 fading landscape terms in a new book -- Home Ground: Language for an American Landscape. Their hope is to keep words such as "kiss tank" and "lover's leap" from going extinct.

Nature writer Barry Lopez launched the project after he found that he was unable to double-check the usage of some landscape words, simply because there was no place to look.

Poet Michael Collier, who also contributed to the book, believes that the words are worth preserving because "language is the DNA of the culture." He joins John Nielsen on a trip through nature and language.

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John Nielsen
John Nielsen covers environmental issues for NPR. His reports air regularly on NPR's award-winning news magazines, All Things Considered, Morning Edition and Weekend Edition. He also prepares documentaries for the NPR/National Geographic Radio Expeditions series, which is heard regularly on Morning Edition. Nielsen also occasionally serves as the substitute host for several NPR News programs.