[Private language of families]

Sunday, April 22, 1956

This episode is from the WNYC archives. It may contain language which is no longer politically or socially appropriate.

Seldes discusses his interest in the private language of families. He notes that this is not a topic that has been well researched. He notes that the source of these private languages may come from the children of the family or a mispronunciation that sticks. He asks listeners to send examples of this type of thing.
This leads to a discussion of the vocabulary created by high fashion magazines, and the use of words for persuasion.
Seldes follows this with a discussion of words used for art - he reads several lines of poetry.
This moves to a general discussion of communication.

Audio courtesy of the NYC Municipal Archives WNYC Collection

WNYC archives id: 70608
Municipal archives id: LT7560

Hosted by:

Gilbert Seldes


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About Lively Arts, The

Legendary critic and author of The Seven Lively Arts Gilbert Seldes discusses big-thinking issues in art and life from his characteristically populist perspective.

Simultaneously a timely and visionary program, Gilbert Seldes's The Lively Arts (1953-1956) examines contemporary issues of 1950s television, radio, and theater, as well as current events and the intellectual arts. Seldes, who was the first Director for Television at CBS News and the founding Dean of the Annenberg School of Communications at the University of Pennsylvania, was also a renowned critic, author, playwright, and editor. As a major social critic and observer, Seldes viewed theater, television, and radio with a prescient eye to the future based on a well-informed understanding of the past. 

These programs feature commentary and discussion on a wide range of topics — from sex and censorship in the movies to progressive education to juvenile delinquency to political campaigning on television — many of which are still hotly debated today. Serving as a precursor to Seldes's television programs and providing an audio context for his seminal books, this show is key to understanding today's cultural commentary.


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