Does Bigfoot use language?

Can your brain understand a message if it’s backwards?

We don’t always understand how language works, so it’s natural that myths and legends about language should arise. Now a new book “Language Myths, Mysteries, and Magic” examines them.

Daniel Midgley talks with author, linguist, and skeptic Karen Stollznow on this episode of Talk the Talk.


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Promo with Kylie Sturgess


Show notes

A U Kansas linguist has been approached to help with switching the Kazakh writing system to Latin script
http://www.pri.org/stories/2014-09-03/university-kansas-linguist-risking-ire-russia-helping-kazakhstan-change-its

Kazakh is spoken in Kazakhstan (of course)
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kazakh_language#Writing_system

It has about 11 million speakers
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_languages_by_number_of_native_speakers

It’s had a number of writing systems over the years
http://www.omniglot.com/writing/kazakh.htm

But it might soon be joining the 70% of languages that use the Latin writing system.
http://centralasiaonline.com/en_GB/articles/caii/features/main/2013/04/02/feature-01

Linguist, skeptic, and author Karen Stollznow
http://karenstollznow.com

Language Myths, Mysteries, and Magic is out now from Palgrave Macmillan
http://www.palgravemacmillan.com.au/palgrave/onix/isbn/9781137404855

OMG Ben was right. It’s grotesque.
http://io9.com/the-creepy-story-of-how-budapest-became-a-city-of-smil-1635708606
Totally going to do this though.

Yes, employers still use graphology as a way of finding out about the personality of potential applicants. Think about that: you could be knocked out of the running for a job, based on thoroughly discredited pseudoscience.
http://www.bbc.com/news/magazine-22198554

Graphologists do no better than random chance at predicting personality traits.
http://www.skepdic.com/graphol.html

What do you call a word you mispronounce because you’ve only read it? An onlyreaditism? A persephone? How about a calliope?
http://ask.metafilter.com/266681/Looking-for-a-term-mispronouncing-a-word-youve-only-ever-read


Show tunes

‘Gloomy Sunday’ by Billie Holiday
from the album A Working Day

‘Myth’ by Beach House
from the album Bloom