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Linguistics

On The Media

The Distinctions Between "Black" and "African-American"

Friday, December 19, 2014

Are the terms Black and African American actually interchangeable? Emory University's Erika Hall has evidence to show that their usage has different consequences in various environments.

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The Leonard Lopate Show

Where Does the Word Ketchup Come From? And Other Questions on the Language of Food

Friday, October 17, 2014

For this week’s Please Explain, linguist Dan Jurafsky tells us about the language of food—from the origins of ketchup to the words we use to describe food.

Comments [5]

PRI's The World

The good part about leaving Russia is no longer having to apologize for its actions

Tuesday, August 05, 2014

Author Masha Gessen left Russia seven months ago, leaving behind a burning shame over her former country's "continuing slide into darkness."

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The Takeaway

How's Your English? Celebrating Grammatical Sins

Monday, June 02, 2014

Ammon Shea's new book, "Bad English: A History of Linguistic Aggravation," is a celebration of grammatical sins of sorts. He says that new words, with new meanings and new rules of grammar, are all just signs of a healthy thriving language.

Comments [70]

The Brian Lehrer Show

A 'Rose By Any Other Name' DOES Smell As Sweet

Thursday, May 01, 2014

John McWhorter, Columbia linguistics professor, New Republic contributing editor, Time columnist and the author of The Language Hoax: Why the World Looks the Same in Any Language (Oxford University Press, USA, 2014) argues against the view that language shapes how we perceive or interact with the world, plus discusses the politics news this week.

 

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New Tech City

The Man Who Tried to Eliminate All Words, But Never Met a Smartphone

Friday, February 28, 2014

This is a story of heroic effort, decades of toil and a man obsessed with a utopian dream: to replace the written word with symbols. And how today's text message tools could have helped. 

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The Brian Lehrer Show

Because New

Wednesday, January 08, 2014

Ben Zimmer, chair of the New Words Committee of the American Dialect Society and executive producer of Vocabulary.com and the Visual Thesaurus, discusses the American Dialect Society's choice for word of the year: the new twitter-based use of the word "because."

 

Comments [11]

The Leonard Lopate Show

Linguistics, Forensics, and J. K. Rowling

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Ben Zimmer talks about the surprising linguistic science behind the revelation that J.K. Rowling wrote the crime novel The Cuckoo's Calling under a pen name. Zimmer is the Wall Street Journal language columnist and executive producer of Vocabulary.com.

Comments [2]

WNYC News

Knaidel, Kneydl: New Yorkers Dish on Dumpling Spellings

Friday, May 31, 2013

A conversation about spelling - and translation

Comments [1]

The Brian Lehrer Show

It's Idiomatic

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Christine Ammer author of more than three dozen reference books, including The American Heritage Dictionary of Idioms, Second Edition, gets to the heart of American English idiomatic phrases, including idioms that feature animals.

Tomorrow's assignment: "Lame duck" and "dark horse" are used in politics.  What idiomatic phrase would you use to describe today's political standoff?

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The Brian Lehrer Show

It's Idiomatic

Monday, February 25, 2013

Christine Ammer, author of more than three dozen reference books, including The American Heritage Dictionary of Idioms, Second Edition, gets to the heart of American English idiomatic phrases, including and/or idiomatic phrases like "hue and cry" and "by hook or crook."

Tomorrow's Assignment: Use as many idiomatic phrases as you can in the space of a 100-word paragraph.    

 

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The Brian Lehrer Show

It's Idiomatic

Friday, February 22, 2013

Christine Ammer, author of more than three dozen reference books, including The American Heritage Dictionary of Idioms, Second Edition, gets to the heart of American English idiomatic phrases.

New assignment: What's your definition for the less-well-known idiom "all wool and a yard wide"?  Use your imaginations, not google!  Check out Facebook for more phrases this weekend.

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The Brian Lehrer Show

It's Idiomatic

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Christine Ammer, author of more than three dozen reference books, including The American Heritage Dictionary of Idioms, Second Edition, gets to the heart of American English idiomatic phrases, including newly coined idioms, like "control freak."

Tomorrow's Assignment: Are there idioms you learned incorrectly, like "intensive purposes" or "making ends meat"?  Share your "misheard" idioms.

 

Comments [10]

On Being

Jean Berko Gleason — Unfolding Language, Unfolding Life [remix]

Thursday, January 03, 2013

Learning to talk, acquiring language, is one of the most remarkable and ordinary things human beings do. A playful conversation with a legend in the field of psycholinguistics, who says it’s as thrilling a frontier as outer space or the deep sea.

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On Being

[Unedited] Jean Berko Gleason with Krista Tippett

Thursday, January 03, 2013

Learning to talk, acquiring language, is one of the most remarkable and ordinary things human beings do. A playful conversation with a legend in the field of psycholinguistics, who says it’s as thrilling a frontier as outer space or the deep sea.

Comment

Radiolab

Mapping the Bilingual Brain

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Chris Berube -- intrepid Radiolab intern, and monolinguist -- sets aside his ego to delve into a listener's question about intelligence and speaking more than one language.

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Comments [21]

Listen to Lucy

Starbucks’ tea takeover is a grande of guff

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Starbucks’ tea takeover is a grande of guff

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The Brian Lehrer Show

Election 2012's Legacy on the English Language

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Geoffrey Nunberg, professor at UC Berkeley's School of Information, language commentator for NPR's Fresh Air and author of Ascent of the A-Word, looks back on what terms, phrases or sayings from the 2012 election season will live on in the popular lexicon.

Comments [12]

The Brian Lehrer Show

Speech! Speech!

Friday, August 31, 2012

John McWhorter, linguist, New Republic contributing editor and the author of What Language Is (And What It Isn’t and What It Could Be), talks about the Republicans' rhetorical choices.

Comments [28]

The Brian Lehrer Show

How Democrats Frame Issues

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Elisabeth Wehling, political strategist and researcher of linguistics, and George Lakoff, Cognitive Science and Linguistics professor at the University of California, Berkley, discuss their book, The Little Blue Book: The Essential Guide to Thinking and Talking Democratic, and explain how Democrats can communicate their moral values clearly and forcefully in a way that sets them apart from their GOP counterparts.

 

Comments [37]