Are our vocabularies shrinking? Is bureaucratic double-talk a sinister form of code designed to short-circuit original thought?

Author Don Watson thinks so, and explains why in his latest book Worst Words. But how does his view stack up to language science?

Don Watson goes head to head with linguist Daniel Midgley on this episode of Talk the Talk.

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Promo with Kylie Sturgess

Show notes

UNESCO: International Mother Language Day

Language in school: If you don’t understand, how can you learn

‘40% have no access to education in own language’‘40%25-have-no-access-to-education-in-own-language’

Aboriginal minister Bess Price denied request to speak Indigenous language in NT Parliament

Minister Chastised For Speaking Indigenous Language On Indigenous Land.

Worst Words: A compendium of contemporary cant, gibberish and jargon

Don Watson on the warpath against Worst Words

Worst Words review: Don Watson fires up on howlers, expressions and bad language

Late Night Live: Don Watson’s worst words

Etymonline: attrit

Does the average American student have less vocabulary today than in days gone by?

Vocabulary Test Results Show Top U.S. Students Losing Ground, Others Stagnate

Fast-growing tumbleweed called hairy panic blows into Australian city

Comment: Are ‘frolleagues’ replacing our friends?

Urban Dictionary: frolleague

Groucho Marx: “Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly and applying the wrong remedies.”

From Monica: Copywriting Fundamentals: How to Write in Plain English

Show tunes

Find the tracks we play on the RTRFM webpage for this episode.