Category: pronunciation (page 1 of 2)

Episode 288: Letters Lost

English used to look a lot different.

We used to use a lot of letters that no longer exist. They had names like eth, wynn, thorn, and ash. Ben, Kylie, and Daniel talk about what they looked like, how they sounded… and ampersand‘s secret past.

It’s all happening on this episode of Talk the Talk.


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Promo with Kylie Sturgess


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and the podcast Lingthusiasm.

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Episode 288: Letters Lost for everyone

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Show notes

Put your hands together for NZ Sign Language Week
http://ourauckland.aucklandcouncil.govt.nz/articles/news/2017/05/nzsl-week/

VIDEO: Sign language interpreter upstages Snoop Dogg
http://pickle.nine.com.au/2017/05/10/11/18/snoop-dogg-sign-language-interpreter-steals-show

Homo naledi may have lived at around same time as early humans
https://www.sciencenews.org/article/homo-naledi-may-have-lived-around-same-time-early-humans

Small-brained early human lived more recently than expected
http://www.nature.com/news/small-brained-early-human-lived-more-recently-than-expected-1.21961

12 Letters That Didn’t Make the Alphabet
http://mentalfloss.com/article/31904/12-letters-didnt-make-alphabet

We Used To Have 6 More Letters In Our Alphabet
https://omgfacts.com/we-used-to-have-6-more-letters-in-our-alphabet-a7e1a165853d

The Lost Letters Of The Alphabet
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/michael-rosen/the-lost-letters-of-the-a_b_6666726.html

Orthography
http://people.umass.edu/sharris/in/gram/GrammarBook/orthography.html

Grammarphobia: An ædifying history
http://www.grammarphobia.com/blog/2011/05/ae-digraph-ligature.html

How is “æ” supposed to be pronounced?
https://english.stackexchange.com/questions/70927/how-is-æ-supposed-to-be-pronounced

Eth, thorn, and ash: they flunked the screen test for our alphabet
http://bookhaven.stanford.edu/2013/08/eth-thorn-and-ash-they-flunked-the-screen-test-for-our-alphabet/

Why is ‘w’ pronounced ‘double u’ rather than ‘double v’?
https://en.oxforddictionaries.com/explore/why-is-w-pronounced-double-u

If “w” is double u, why is it made of two v’s?
http://blog.dictionary.com/w/

Letter Finder
http://www.scottishhandwriting.com/cmlfyo.asp

The Rules for Long S
http://babelstone.blogspot.com.au/2006/06/rules-for-long-s.html

Why does the ending -ough have six pronunciations?
https://english.stackexchange.com/questions/31991/why-does-the-ending-ough-have-six-pronunciations

What Character Was Removed from the Alphabet?
http://blog.dictionary.com/ampersand/

Language Log: Priming the pump
http://languagelog.ldc.upenn.edu/nll/?p=32625

Language Log: Priming the pump: a cartoon history
http://languagelog.ldc.upenn.edu/nll/?p=32649

France just rejected the far right and elected Emmanuel Macron
https://www.vox.com/world/2017/5/7/15571666/french-elections-emmanuel-macron-marine-le-pen-front-national-vote-win

10 things to know about NOTA — a voter’s right to reject
http://www.hindustantimes.com/india/10-things-to-know-about-nota-a-voter-s-right-to-reject/story-SkX0EsDQbjG5e2sz0L5N9H.html

Trump to NBC’s Lester Holt: Comey’s ‘a showboat,’ ‘I was going to fire regardless of recommendation’
http://www.latimes.com/politics/washington/la-na-essential-washington-updates-trump-to-nbc-s-lester-holt-i-was-1494522620-htmlstory.html

The history of ransomware
http://www.csoonline.com/article/3095956/data-breach/the-history-of-ransomware.html#slide2

Ware: “Simple Simon met a pieman…”
http://www3.amherst.edu/~rjyanco94/literature/mothergoose/rhymes/simplesimonmetapieman.html

Rocky and Bullwinkle: Simple Simon

A 1987 reference to ransomware
Google Books link

4 Ways to Protect Against the Very Real Threat of Ransomware
https://www.wired.com/2016/05/4-ways-protect-ransomware-youre-target/

RANSOMWARE: Hostage Rescue Manual (PDF)
https://www.wired.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/03/RansomwareManual-1.pdf

Green’s Dictionary of Slang: cock
https://greensdictofslang.com/entry/kjbkjfi

Wikipedia: Cockburn (surname)
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cockburn_(surname)

Online Etymology Dictionary
curse, cursive, cursor


Show tunes

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

Episode 279: Mailbag – Competitive Edition

We’re taking your questions on a Mailbag episode!

Along the way, we’re going to find out some pretty strange things about how words and phrases got to be how they are. Do you say zero or oh? What is begging the question? And has the French /r/ always been like that?

Daniel, Ben, and Kylie answer them all on this episode of Talk the Talk.


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Promo with Antonino Tati


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Episode 279: Mailbag – Competitive Edition [128 kbps]

Cutting Room Floor 279: Mailbag – Competitive Edition for patrons


Show notes

The hazards of English spelling
https://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2017-03/lsoa-tho030917.php

Self-Organization In The Spelling Of English Suffixes: The Emergence Of Culture Out Of Anarchy
http://www.linguisticsociety.org/sites/default/files/Berg_Aronoff.pdf

The Standardization of American English
http://teachinghistory.org/history-content/ask-a-historian/25489

till (prep.)
http://www.etymonline.com/index.php?term=till&allowed_in_frame=0

Wikipedia: Names for the number 0 in English
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Names_for_the_number_0_in_English#.22O.22_.28.22oh.22.29

How many names does zero have?
http://inmadom-myenglishclass.blogspot.com.au/2011/09/how-many-names-does-zero-have.html

Why getting out for zero is called a “duck” in cricket
https://www.sportskeeda.com/cricket/why-getting-out-zero-called-duck-cricket

Begging the Question, Again
https://afterdeadline.blogs.nytimes.com/2008/09/25/begging-the-question-again/?_r=1

Begging the question: How much should we fight for a correct English usage that no one actually seems to use?
https://www.theguardian.com/media/mind-your-language/2010/may/24/begging-the-question-mind-your-language

This troublesome 3-word phrase perfectly exemplified Antonin Scalia’s obsession with originalism
https://www.businessinsider.com/beg-the-question-meaning-definition-usage-2016-4

Questions to French native speakers…
http://www.antimoon.com/forum/t16151.htm

r/French: The rolled “R”
https://www.reddit.com/r/French/comments/2wwz2y/the_rolled_r/

Rolled ‘R’ in French – what area?
http://www.forum.french-linguistics.co.uk/forum/topics/rolled-r-in-french-what-area

Studies in the History of the English Language: A Millennial Perspective
Google Books link

Flipped, rolled, trilled or other…How to deal with the French “r”?
https://dictioncorner.wordpress.com/2014/02/09/flipped-rolled-trilled-or-other-how-to-deal-with-the-french-r/

When did the trilled “r” fall out of use in French and become replaced with a uvular fricative?
https://www.quora.com/When-did-the-trilled-r-fall-out-of-use-in-French-and-become-replaced-with-a-uvular-fricative

The origin of the French uvular “R”
http://www.antimoon.com/forum/t4808-15.htm

Frozen – Let It Go (French version)
https://youtu.be/wQP9XZc2Y_c

Georges Brassens – La Mauvaise Réputation
https://youtu.be/26Nuj6dhte8

What Is the F–kboy?
http://www.slate.com/blogs/lexicon_valley/2015/08/18/what_does_fuckboy_mean.html

Green’s Dictionary of Slang
https://greensdictofslang.com

Diagram for 0800 0077 070


Show tunes

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

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Episode 277: All About Accents

Accents are like opinions: everybody’s got one. But how do opinions affect accents?

Listeners want to know: Why do people seem to lose their accent when they sing? And is there any reason why we think some accents sound attractive and others less so?

Daniel, Ben, and Kylie talk it over on this episode of Talk the Talk.


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Promo with Harry Malcolm


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This episode was brought to you thanks to our community of patrons, including Christopher F., David W.ZoeWhitney, Matt, and Christy. A huge thank you to all our patrons!

Become a Patreon supporter yourself and get access to bonus audio, extra blog posts, Talk the Talk merch, our infamous Cutting Room Floor posts, and more!

Patreon extras for this episode

Episode 277: How We Feel About Accents [128 kbps]

Cutting Room Floor 277: Accents


Show notes

NSW HSC: Back to the future in first major overhaul of the syllabus in 20 years
http://www.smh.com.au/nsw/nsw-hsc-back-to-the-future-in-first-major-overhaul-of-the-syllabus-in-20-years-20170220-gugoum.html

NSW HSC syllabus overhaul places focus on English grammar and Asian history
https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2017/feb/21/nsw-hsc-syllabus-overhaul-places-focus-on-english-grammar-and-asian-history

The Australian Curriculum (AUTOMATIC PDF DOWNLOAD)
http://v7-5.australiancurriculum.edu.au/australian%20curriculum.pdf?Type=0&s=E&e=ScopeAndSequence
Cached version; loads without downloading

ACARA: Curriculum
http://v7-5.australiancurriculum.edu.au/english/curriculum/f-10?layout=1

HSC overhaul to be announced
http://www.skynews.com.au/news/national/nsw/2017/02/21/hsc-overhaul-to-be-announced.html

The Irish accent voted sexiest in the world
http://www.irishcentral.com/news/colin-farrell-helps-irish-beat-french-for-sexiest-accent-in-the-world-68840277-237766571

Why Are Some Accents Sexier than Others?
http://www.listenandlearnaustralia.com.au/blog/why-are-some-accents-sexier-than-others/

What makes a language attractive – its sound, national identity or familiarity?
https://www.theguardian.com/education/2014/jul/17/what-makes-a-language-attractive

Why are some accents more attractive?
https://blog.esl-languages.com/blog/esl/foreign-accents-attractive/

How German Sounds Compared To Other Languages (Ultimate / Full Version)

How beautiful German sounds compared to other languages

Trudgill: Acts of Conflicting Identity: The Sociolinguistics of British Pop-song Pronunciation
http://link.springer.com/chapter/10.1007%2F978-1-349-25582-5_21

Trudgill on Pop Song Pronunciation
http://positiveanymore.blogspot.com.au/2006/06/trudgill-on-pop-song-pronunciation.html

Indie girl singer introduces us to her kitchen
https://vine.co/v/OTg0nO2mFKU

On singing accents
http://david-crystal.blogspot.com.au/2009/11/on-singing-accents.html

Why British Singers Lose Their Accents When Singing
http://www.todayifoundout.com/index.php/2013/08/why-british-singers-lose-their-accent-when-singing/

Talking tactics: Rihanna and the pop stars who change accent
https://www.theguardian.com/music/2016/feb/04/talk-that-talk-rihanna-the-cunning-linguist

Hot takes and hysteria: it’s time to park identity politics
https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2017/feb/24/hot-takes-and-hysteria-its-time-to-park-identity-politics

‘Don’t play identity politics!’ The primal scream of the straight white male
https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2016/dec/02/identity-politics-donald-trump-white-men

RationalWiki: Identity politics
http://rationalwiki.org/wiki/Identity_politics

Stop saying identity politics caused Trump
http://www.newstatesman.com/2017/01/stop-saying-identity-politics-caused-trump

The Combahee River Collective Statement
http://americanstudies.yale.edu/sites/default/files/files/Keyword%20Coalition_Readings.pdf

The Debate We Have To Have: Identity Politics And The Left
https://newmatilda.com/2015/07/16/debate-we-have-have-identity-politics-and-left/


Show tunes

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

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Episode 269: Mailbag Episode

You asked. We answer.

Why do we talk the way we do? Where do our words and phrases come from? And why are they sometimes so very strange?

Linguist Daniel Midgley has something for everyone on this episode of Talk the Talk.


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Promo with Kylie Sturgess


Patreon supporters

Our patrons Whitney, Matt, Christy, Zoe, and Keda backed this episode. Thanks, everyone! You give us a reason to keep talking.

Become a Patreon supporter yourself and get access to bonus audio, extra blog posts, Talk the Talk merch, our infamous Cutting Room Floor posts, and more!

Patreon extras for this episode

Cutting Room Floor 269: Mailbag Episode

Episode 269: Mailbag Episode [128 kbps] (for everyone)


Show notes

The Word Detective: Go Bananas
http://www.word-detective.com/2015/04/go-bananas/

The mystery of “going bananas.”
http://discovolonte.typepad.com/discovolonte/2007/12/the-mystery-of.html

First instance of “cool bananas”
Google Books link

Oxford Dictionaries: What is the origin of ‘banana’?
http://blog.oxforddictionaries.com/2014/08/origin-banana/

Why are し/ち transliterated as ‘shi’/’chi’, and not ‘si’/’ti’?
http://japanese.stackexchange.com/questions/19807/why-are-し-ち-transliterated-as-shi-chi-and-not-si-ti

The photo:

Grammarist: Lieutenant
http://grammarist.com/spelling/lieutenant/

Online Etymology Dictionary: Lieutenant
http://www.etymonline.com/index.php?term=lieutenant&allowed_in_frame=0

Online Etymology Dictionary: Colonel
http://www.etymonline.com/index.php?allowed_in_frame=0&search=colonel

Sorry, it was Roman Jakobsen, not Otto Jespersen who said “Languages differ essentially in what they must convey and not in what they may convey.”
http://www.economist.com/blogs/johnson/2010/09/language_and_thought

Wikipedia: Elizabeth (given name)
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Elizabeth_(given_name)

Lindsay Lohan Explains Her Unusual New Accent
http://www.vanityfair.com/style/2016/11/lindsay-lohan-new-accent-explanation

Ecosexuals Believe Having Sex with the Earth Could Save It
http://www.vice.com/read/ecosexuals-believe-having-sex-with-the-earth-could-save-it

Ecosexual Bathhouse at Melbourne’s botanic gardens arousing interest in the environment
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2016-05-10/ecosexual-bathhouse-in-next-wave-arts-festival/7396720

You Can Literally Have Sex with the Environment in This ‘Ecosexual Bathhouse’
https://broadly.vice.com/en_us/article/you-can-literally-have-sex-with-the-environment-in-this-ecosexual-bathhouse

On Otherkin and Trans People
https://thingofthings.wordpress.com/2016/01/25/otherkin-are-not-harming-the-trans-movement/

Otherkin
https://www.otherkincommunity.org/wiki/Otherkin#Awakening

Otherkin Are People Too; They Just Identify as Nonhuman
http://www.vice.com/read/from-dragons-to-foxes-the-otherkin-community-believes-you-can-be-whatever-you-want-to-be

“Compersion: A Polyamorous Principle That Can Strengthen Any Relationship.” And the word’s origin.
http://polyinthemedia.blogspot.com.au/2015/03/compersion-polyamorous-principle-that.html

How do you pronounce debut?
https://www.macquariedictionary.com.au/news/view/editor/article/173/


Show tunes

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

Image credit: http://www.investmentu.com/assets/images/content/2014/03/rsz_dollarphotoclub_56153912-11.jpg

Episode 265: Universal Grammar 2 (featuring Dan Everett and Lynne Murphy)

The biggest idea in linguistics is back on the table.

Is there such a thing as the Universal Grammar? Do you have to have a human brain to learn language, or is learning a language just like learning anything else? And are one man’s insights into Amazonian languages sufficient to demolish this theoretical edifice?

Linguists Dan Everett and Lynne Murphy talk to Daniel, Ben, and Kylie on this episode of Talk the Talk.


Listen to this episode

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Promo with Dylan Websdane


Patreon supporters

Support for this episode comes from our patrons: Christy, Matt, and Whitney. Thanks, all! Your support gives life its meaning and texture.

Become a Patreon supporter yourself and get access to bonus audio, extra blog posts, Talk the Talk merch, and more!

Patreon extras for this episode

Interview with Dan Everett 2016-10-07 (complete)

Cutting Room Floor 265: Universal Grammar 2

265: Universal Grammar 2 (featuring Dan Everett and Lynne Murphy) [128kbps] (for everyone)


Show notes

Warning: Bad linguistics alert

‘Th’ sound to vanish from English language by 2066 because of multiculturalism, say linguists
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/science/2016/09/28/th-sound-to-vanish-from-english-language-by-2066-because-of-mult/

Here’s how the English language could sound incredibly different in 50 years
http://www.sciencealert.com/the-english-language-could-sound-incredibly-different-in-50-years-study-finds

Our accents are under threat: dialects may die as computers strip the beauty from language
http://www.wired.co.uk/article/dialect-english-regional-accents

It’s the end of the frog and toad for regional slang, says report
https://www.theguardian.com/education/2016/sep/29/its-the-end-of-the-frog-and-toad-for-regional-slang-says-report

XKCD:

Better linguistics alert

Researchers are using an app to crowdsource how the English language has changed
http://qz.com/694906/researchers-are-using-an-app-to-crowdsource-how-the-english-language-has-changed/

How do you say ‘scone’? English regional accents decline as ‘southern’ accent becomes widespread
http://home.bt.com/news/uk-news/how-do-you-say-scone-english-regional-accents-decline-as-southern-accent-becomes-widespread-11364064620130

How London has killed off elements of local dialects across England – in seven maps
https://www.indy100.com/article/how-london-has-killed-off-elements-of-local-dialects-across-englandin-seven-maps–ZJxofkDwH7Z

New Scientist: The Electric Kool-Aid language test
https://www.newscientist.com/article/2108618-the-electric-kool-aid-language-test/

Dan Everett: Who’s afraid of the big bad Wolfe? Apparently everyone.
https://daneverettbooks.com/whos-afraid-of-the-big-bad-wolfe-apparently-everyone/

Trump recorded having extremely lewd conversation about women in 2005
https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/trump-recorded-having-extremely-lewd-conversation-about-women-in-2005/2016/10/07/3b9ce776-8cb4-11e6-bf8a-3d26847eeed4_story.html

A banner day for profanity
https://stronglang.wordpress.com/2016/10/08/a-banner-day-for-profanity/

An Oxford linguist on the dangers of dismissing comments about sexual assault as “locker-room talk”
http://qz.com/807395/donald-trump-oxford-linguist-deborah-cameron-explains-the-dangers-of-dismissing-comments-about-sexual-assault-as-locker-room-talk/

“Locker room” language encourages rape culture, even if it stays private
http://qz.com/806386/donald-trumps-lewd-access-hollywood-video-locker-room-language-encourages-rape-culture/

Lynne Murphy on Twitter: @lynneguist
https://twitter.com/lynneguist

Lynne’s blog: Separated by a Common Language
https://separatedbyacommonlanguage.blogspot.com.au

Linguistics explains why Trump sounds racist when he says “the” African Americans
http://qz.com/806174/second-presidential-debate-linguistics-explains-why-donald-trump-sounds-racist-when-he-says-the-african-americans/

Everything that was said at the second Donald Trump vs. Hillary Clinton debate, highlighted
https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/the-fix/wp/2016/10/09/everything-that-was-said-at-the-second-donald-trump-vs-hillary-clinton-debate-highlighted/

“open mic” and “on the mic”


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Episode 236: Spelling Reform

Sometimes English spelling doesn’t make much sense.

But even though many influential people have tried to reform our wacky orthography, the anomalies persist. Will English spelling reform ever work?

Linguist Daniel Midgley spells it out on this episode of Talk the Talk.


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Promo with Scott Quigg


Show notes

Facebook Reactions, the Totally Redesigned Like Button, Is Here
http://www.wired.com/2016/02/facebook-reactions-totally-redesigned-like-button/

Facebook: Emojis to beat words with ‘Reactions’ icons
http://www.deccanchronicle.com/technology/in-other-news/260216/on-facebook-emojis-beat-words.html

Mark Zuckerberg Asks Racist Facebook Employees to Stop Crossing Out Black Lives Matter Slogans
http://gizmodo.com/mark-zuckerberg-asks-racist-facebook-employees-to-stop-1761272768

Mark Zuckerberg Chastises Employees Who Crossed Out ‘Black Lives Matter’ on Facebook’s Signature Wall
https://www.good.is/articles/zuck-stands-up-for-black-lives-matter

Wikipedia: German orthography reform of 1996
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/German_orthography_reform_of_1996

English Spelling Society: What is wrong with English spelling?
http://www.spellingsociety.org

Stan Carey: A brief history of English spelling reform
http://www.historytoday.com/stan-carey/brief-history-english-spelling-reform

History of Spelling Reform
http://www.barnsdle.demon.co.uk/spell/histsp.html

RationalWiki: English spelling reform
http://rationalwiki.org/wiki/English_spelling_reform

Wikipedia: English-language spelling reform
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/English-language_spelling_reform#Spelling_reform_proposals

26 of Noah Webster’s Spelling Changes That Didn’t Catch On
http://mentalfloss.com/article/53723/26-noah-webster’s-spelling-changes-didn’t-catch

Cut Spelling (CS)
http://grammar.about.com/od/c/g/cutspellingterm.htm

NPR: Changes To French Spelling Make Us Wonder: Why Is English So Weird?
http://www.npr.org/2016/02/24/467218639/new-changes-to-french-beg-the-question-why-are-english-spellings-so-weird

Failed Attempts to Reform English Spelling: 8 Spelling Suggestions That Didn’t Stick
http://www.merriam-webster.com/words-at-play/spelling-suggestions-that-didnt-stick/kist-instead-of-kissed

What is the origin of the silent ‘b’ at the end of English words such as lamb, comb, crumb and bomb?
“The b-sound was lost by about 1300.”
http://www.theguardian.com/notesandqueries/query/0,,-1417,00.html

Etymonline: limb
“The parasitic -b began to appear late 1500s for no etymological reason”
http://www.etymonline.com/index.php?term=limb&allowed_in_frame=0

Etymonline: indict
http://www.etymonline.com/index.php?term=indict

Oxford: 11 spelling changes that would make English easier
http://blog.oxforddictionaries.com/2015/06/spellings-changes-that-would-make-english-easier/

Trying to change English’s complex spelling is a waste of time
https://theconversation.com/trying-to-change-englishs-complex-spelling-is-a-waste-of-time-38027

Oxford Owl: What is synthetic phonics?
http://www.oxfordowl.co.uk/home/reading-owl/expert-help/what-is-synthetic-phonics

Panicum v panic
http://www.etymonline.com/index.php?allowed_in_frame=0&search=Panic

Pellie: Steve Price under fire as Tim Minchin rejects George Pell’s sick note
http://www.9news.com.au/national/2016/02/17/06/24/steve-price-takes-on-tim-minchin-as-cardinal-george-pell-faces-visit-from-survivors

Australian Christian Lobby condemns Sydney school’s ‘rainbow politics’ for allowing male students to wear female uniforms
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2016-02-23/australian-christian-lobby-condemns-sydney-school-uniform-policy/7191908

SBS Backburner: Safe Schools Course Teaches Shorten To Stand Up To Bully
http://www.sbs.com.au/comedy/article/2016/02/24/safe-schools-course-teaches-shorten-stand-bully

As it happened: Unicorns, pixies and politicians hurling abuse over claims of homophobia
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2016-02-24/federal-politics-live-coverage-feb-24/7194712

A Rainbow Marriage: How did the rainbow become a symbol of gay pride?
http://www.slate.com/articles/life/explainer/2012/06/rainbows_and_gay_pride_how_the_rainbow_became_a_symbol_of_the_glbt_movement_.html

Malcolm Turnbull Issues Language Warning to MPs Over Safe Schools Debate
https://www.pedestrian.tv/news/arts-and-culture/malcolm-turnbull-issues-language-warning-to-mps-ov/9840567e-adaf-4a36-a499-52ac2135afd1.htm

Support the Safe Schools Coalition
http://campaigns.greens.org.au/ea-action/action?ea.client.id=1792&ea.campaign.id=48027&ea.tracking.id=fb&en_chan=fb&en_ref=17768456

Myths debunked: Sadly, Theodore Roosevelt never rode a moose
https://blogs.harvard.edu/houghton/2013/09/20/myths-debunked-sadly-theodore-roosevelt-never-rode-a-moose/

Gizmodo: That Famous Photo of Teddy Roosevelt Riding a Moose Is Fake
http://paleofuture.gizmodo.com/that-famous-photo-of-teddy-roosevelt-riding-a-moose-is-1355349896


Show tunes

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

 

Episode 223: Mailbag

You have questions, and we have answers.

But in the process we find out more about how English works, and how it got to be the way it is.

Daniel and Ben empty out the mailbag on this episode of Talk the Talk.


Listen to this episode

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Promo with Jane Hebiton


Show notes

This map shows the weird names Americans have given the night before Halloween
http://qz.com/289469/this-map-shows-the-weird-names-americans-have-given-the-night-before-halloween/

What do you call the night before Halloween?
http://www4.uwm.edu/FLL/linguistics/dialect/staticmaps/q_110.html

Gate night: Kids used to unhinge farmers’ gates
http://www.livescience.com/5149-devil-night-history-pre-halloween-pranks.html

Goosey Night
https://offeringstone.wordpress.com/2012/10/30/whats-goosey-night/

Dialect Blog: Halloween!
http://dialectblog.com/2011/10/31/halloween/

RationalWiki: Jesusween
http://rationalwiki.org/wiki/Jesusween

The Pitfalls of Using Google Ngram to Study Language
http://www.wired.com/2015/10/pitfalls-of-studying-language-with-google-ngram/

Characterizing the Google Books Corpus: Strong Limits to Inferences of Socio-Cultural and Linguistic Evolution
http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0137041

When OCR Goes Bad: Google’s Ngram Viewer & The F-Word
http://searchengineland.com/when-ocr-goes-bad-googles-ngram-viewer-the-f-word-59181

Syntax in Cambridge History of the English Language
https://books.google.com/books?id=NxHuNOvwt7wC&lpg=PP1&dq=cambridge%20history%20of%20the%20english%20language%20volume%203&pg=PA248#v=onepage&q=%22am%20not%20I%22&f=false

Etymology: mucho
https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/mucho#Spanish

Etymology: much
http://www.etymonline.com/index.php?term=much

Etymology: good
http://www.etymonline.com/index.php?term=good

Etymology: god
http://www.etymonline.com/index.php?term=god

15 Pairs of Words That Seem Etymologically Related, But Aren’t
http://mentalfloss.com/article/61678/15-pairs-words-seem-etymologically-related-arent

Arika Okrent announced as winner of LSA Linguistics Journalism Award
http://www.linguisticsociety.org/news/2015/10/22/arika-okrent-announced-winner-lsa-linguistics-journalism-award

New guidelines aimed at reducing gender stereotyping in schools
http://www.itv.com/news/2015-10-18/schools-to-be-sent-guidelines-on-reducing-use-of-sexist-terms/

This is where the expression ‘throw shade’ comes from
http://www.businessinsider.com.au/where-the-expression-throw-shade-comes-from-2015-3

Urban Dictionary: throw shade
http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=throw+shade

Go Ahead and Throw All the Shade You Want, Straight People
http://gawker.com/5980303/go-ahead-and-throw-all-the-shade-you-want-straight-people

How to Throw Shade
http://www.stuffmomnevertoldyou.com/blog/how-to-throw-shade/

Grant Barrett: throw shade
http://www.waywordradio.org/throw_shade/

Norwegians Are Literally Using ‘Texas’ As Slang for ‘Crazy’ Now
http://www.alternet.org/culture/norwegians-are-literally-using-texas-slang-crazy-now

How ‘Texas’ became Norwegian for ‘crazy’
http://www.washingtonpost.com/news/morning-mix/wp/2015/10/26/how-texas-became-norwegian-for-crazy/

Norwegians use “Texas” as a synonym for “crazy”
http://qz.com/531921/norwegians-use-texas-as-a-synonym-for-crazy/

Why do Norwegians use ‘texas’ to mean ‘crazy’?
http://www.bbc.com/news/magazine-34622478

Vegard Vigerust: “The Boy Who Wanted to Buy Norwegian Broadcasting Corporation”
“Would he make it even more texas in the village?”.
“Ville han laga enda meir texas i bygda?”
https://books.google.com/books?id=_f9EAAAAIAAJ&focus=searchwithinvolume&q=Texas

Etymonline: Ass
http://www.etymonline.com/index.php?term=ass

Etymonline: Arse
http://www.etymonline.com/index.php?term=arse


Show tunes

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

Image credit: http://www.pcj-t.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/06/Question-People.jpg

Episode 219: Eggcorns

Have you heard of eggcorns?

They’re off-quoted sayings that sometimes reel their ugly heads, and some might just leave you curled up in the feeble position.

Are they wrong? That might be a bit of a mute point. But can you tell the difference between an eggcorn and the real thing?

Linguist Daniel Midgley discusses them in one foul swoop on this episode of Talk the Talk.


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Promo with Kylie Sturgess


Show notes

Google Ngram Viewer: “There is plenty of, There are plenty of
There’s Three Variants: Paper presented at LSA 2015 by Bonnie Krejci and Katherine Hilton, Stanford University (PDF)

http://stanford.edu/~khilton/Krejci+Hilton_LSA_2015.pdf

To Find Meteorites, Listen to the Legends of Australian Aborigines
http://www.smithsonianmag.com/science-nature/find-meteorites-listen-legends-australian-aborigines-180952941/?no-ist

Australian Aboriginal Stories of Ancient Sea-Level Rise Preserved for 13,000 Years
http://www.sci-news.com/othersciences/linguistics/science-aboriginal-stories-australia-03272.html

Revealed: how Indigenous Australian storytelling accurately records sea level rises 7,000 years ago
http://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2015/sep/16/indigenous-australian-storytelling-records-sea-level-rises-over-millenia

Eggcorn: The Invented Word That Describes Invented Words
http://io9.com/eggcorn-the-invented-word-that-describes-invented-word-1629293915

This Is What ‘Eggcorns’ Are (and Why They’re Jar-Droppingly Good)
http://time.com/3902230/what-is-an-eggcorn/

Eggcorns? Here, here!
https://uwelingo.wordpress.com/2013/02/05/eggcorns-here-here/

‘Eggcorns’: The Gaffes That Spread Like Wildflowers
http://www.npr.org/sections/thetwo-way/2015/05/30/410504851/eggcorns-the-gaffes-that-spread-like-wildflowers

Google’s Ngram Viewer
https://books.google.com/ngrams

‘raucous’
http://www.etymonline.com/index.php?term=raucous&allowed_in_frame=0

“A real tro*per”
http://eggcorns.lascribe.net/forum/viewtopic.php?id=1867

trooper vs. trouper
http://grammarpartyblog.com/2012/10/03/trooper-vs-trouper/

“exasperating the situation”
http://listserv.linguistlist.org/pipermail/ads-l/2010-September/102978.html

“firstable”
http://eggcorns.lascribe.net/category/english/

“supposably”
http://www.grammarly.com/blog/2014/supposably-is-a-word-but-theres-a-99-chance-you-dont-know-how-to-use-it/

Which one swooped? Fowl, foul or fell? (Aside from the obvious.)
http://glenjplayer.com/2012/10/one-fowl-foul-fell-felon-swoop/

the “bud” of someone’s jokes
http://eggcorns.lascribe.net/english/291/bud/

nip in the “butt”
http://eggcorns.lascribe.net/english/135/butt/

coming down the “pike”
http://www.word-detective.com/2009/08/mondegreen-vs-eggcorn/

“buck” naked
https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/buck_naked#Etymology

Bu?? Naked
http://itre.cis.upenn.edu/~myl/languagelog/archives/001351.html

Butt To Buck, Start To Stark, Or Vice Versa?
http://itre.cis.upenn.edu/~myl/languagelog/archives/001959.html

Duc* tape
http://www.octanecreative.com/ducttape/duckvsduct.html

Hear, hear
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hear,_hear

Is It Straitjacket Or Straightjacket?
http://www.lifehacker.com.au/2013/02/is-it-straitjacket-or-straightjacket/

“straight” jacket is more common in books.

People emit a ‘germ cloud’ of bacteria as unique as a fingerprint, study finds
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/health/11883473/People-emit-a-germ-cloud-of-bacteria-as-unique-as-a-fingerprint-study-finds.html

Congressman grabs pope’s water glass, takes a sip
http://www.kansascity.com/living/religion/article36805737.html

Science Has Bad News for Guys With Man Buns
http://mic.com/articles/125687/science-has-bad-news-for-guys-with-man-buns

Science says the glorified man bun is a dangerous trend
http://www.aol.com/article/2015/09/23/science-says-the-glorified-man-bun-is-a-dangerous-trend/21240055/

#FreeKaren: Australians mock anti-radicalisation booklet
http://www.bbc.com/news/world-australia-34355577

#freekaren: Govt’s school handout slammed for linking West Aust shark cull protest to radicalisation
http://www.abc.net.au/pm/content/2015/s4319916.htm

Kevin Rudd: To the Good Burghers of Griffith
http://www.kevinruddmp.com/2013/11/to-good-burghers-of-griffith.html

burgher (n.)
http://www.etymonline.com/index.php?term=burgher&allowed_in_frame=0

Etymology of borough, -burg, bourgeois, burglar
https://ewonago.wordpress.com/tag/origin-of-burgher/

Eggcorn: bi-election
http://eggcorns.lascribe.net/english/529/bi-election/


Show tunes

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

Image credit: https://pioneerwoman.files.wordpress.com/2014/04/eggcorn1.jpg

Episode 212: Fourth Floor

Language change is all around us — even at department stores.

And it’s there that Linguist Daniel Midgley travelled to get in touch with a 50-year-old linguistic experiment that changed the world. And it all starts with a question: What’s on the fourth floor?

We find out on this episode of Talk the Talk.


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Promo with Jane Hebiton


Show notes

Gwenno: Y Dydd Olaf — translations for all the tracks
https://ydyddolaf.wordpress.com

Welsh history in the time of the Tudors
http://www.bbc.co.uk/wales/history/sites/themes/society/language_tudors.shtml

Welsh revitalisation
https://www.academia.edu/5299722/Welsh_Language_Revitalisation_a_Failure

Welsh is considered a model for language revitalization, but its fate is still uncertain
http://www.pri.org/stories/2015-06-24/welsh-considered-model-language-revitalization-its-fate-uncertain

How is the Welsh language being preserved in Patagonia?
http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-wales-33726205

Gambia to drop English as ‘colonial relic’
http://www.aljazeera.com/news/africa/2014/03/gambia-drop-english-as-colonial-relic-2014313141814734996.html

TIME: Why Pakistan Is Replacing English With Urdu
http://time.com/3975587/pakistan-english-urdu/

Christian Science Monitor: Why Pakistan is changing its official language from English to Urdu
http://www.csmonitor.com/World/Global-News/2015/0729/Why-Pakistan-is-changing-its-official-language-from-English-to-Urdu

Quora: Why is Urdu the national language of Pakistan?
http://www.quora.com/Why-is-Urdu-the-national-language-of-Pakistan

Honda to use English as its official language (by 2020)
http://www.autoblog.com/2015/07/07/honda-english-official-language/

The article that started it all: The Social Stratification of (r) in New York City Department Stores (PDF)
http://web.stanford.edu/class/linguist62n/labov001.pdf

Revisiting New York department stores — about Mather’s 1992 replication
http://linguistics-research-digest.blogspot.com.au/2013/06/revisiting-new-york-department-stores.html

Dialect Blog: How Non-Rhotic Accents Become Rhotic
http://dialectblog.com/2011/09/12/rhotic-becomes-non-rhotic/

John Tierney of the NYT did a mini-replication in 1995. Really good background.
http://www.nytimes.com/1995/01/22/magazine/the-big-city-can-we-talk.html

i love english language: William Labov
https://aggslanguage.wordpress.com/2009/09/20/william-labov/

William Labov discusses his career in sociolinguistics
https://www.pbs.org/speak/speech/sociolinguistics/labov/

Google Books: Introducing Sociolinguistics
Link

What is jacklighting?
http://animalrights.about.com/od/wildlife/g/What-Is-Jacklighting.htm

‘Cecil Bill’ May End Trophy Hunting In America
https://www.thedodo.com/congress-cecil-lion-trophy-hunting-ban-1275558136.html

Jimmy Kimmel Tears Into ‘A-hole’ Dentist Who Killed Cecil The Lion
https://www.thedodo.com/jimmy-kimmel-dentist-killed-lion-1271676533.html


Show tunes

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

Episode 209: Typography

Typography is more than just font design.

It affects informational readability — and at times, credibility. It’s contributed terms to our language. And sometimes, there are stories of intrigue hidden in its past.

Linguist Daniel Midgley is the font of all knowledge on this episode of Talk the Talk.


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Promo with Kylie Sturgess


Show notes

Alex Poole: Which Are More Legible: Serif or Sans Serif Typefaces?
http://alexpoole.info/blog/which-are-more-legible-serif-or-sans-serif-typefaces/

12 words you need to ban from your vocabulary to be a better ally
http://mashable.com/2015/06/04/ally-vocabulary-banned-words/

UMD Study Concludes Parents Mixing Languages has No Impact on Children’s Language Development
http://www.umdrightnow.umd.edu/news/umd-study-concludes-parents-mixing-languages-has-no-impact-childrens-language-development

Hermann Zapf: “Typography is two-dimensional architecture…”
https://sharonmcteir.wordpress.com/2010/06/17/quotation-by-hermann-zapf/

Video: “The Art of Hermann Zapf”, made for Hallmark Cards circa 1967.

Typography Quotations
http://desktoppub.about.com/od/typography/a/Typography_Quotations.htm

Daniel’s Page of Fontery
http://www.goodreasonblog.com/p/fontery.html

Straight Dope: What’s the origin of the expression “mind your P’s and Q’s”?
http://www.straightdope.com/columns/read/761/whats-the-origin-of-the-expression-mind-your-ps-and-qs

What is the origin of the terms “upper case” and “lower case” for capital and small letters?
http://www.funtrivia.com/askft/Question84960.html

Wikipedia: Letter case
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Letter_case

What’s The Difference Between A Font And A Typeface?
http://www.fastcodesign.com/3028971/whats-the-difference-between-a-font-and-a-typeface

10 typography terms that every designer needs to know
http://www.creativebloq.com/typography/terms-designer-needs-know-111112

The fight over the Doves
http://www.economist.com/news/christmas-specials/21591793-legendary-typeface-gets-second-life-fight-over-doves

Lost typeface printing blocks found in river Thames
http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-31188255?SThisFB

The Gorgeous Typeface That Drove Men Mad and Sparked a 100-Year Mystery
http://gizmodo.com/the-gorgeous-typeface-that-drove-men-mad-and-sparked-a-1686081182

The Doves Type™ revival
http://www.typespec.co.uk/doves-type-revival/

Doves Type specimen sheet (PDF)
http://typespec.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2015/03/Doves-Type-specimen-2015-v22.pdf

How Typefaces Influence Perception and Persuasion
http://www.mdgadvertising.com/blog/how-typefaces-influence-perception-and-persuasion/

Errol Morris: How Typography Shapes Our Perception Of Truth
http://www.fastcodesign.com/3046365/errol-morris-how-typography-shapes-our-perception-of-truth

Are Some Fonts More Believable Than Others?
http://www.fastcodesign.com/1670556/are-some-fonts-more-believable-than-others

Errol Morris: Hear, All Ye People; Hearken, O Earth (Part 1)
http://opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/08/08/hear-all-ye-people-hearken-o-earth/?_r=1

How typeface influences the way we read and think
http://theweek.com/articles/463196/how-typeface-influences-way-read-think

When Typography Speaks Louder Than Words
http://www.smashingmagazine.com/2012/04/13/when-typography-speaks-louder-than-words/

5 Psychology Studies That Tell Us How People Perceive Visual Information
http://piktochart.com/5-psychology-studies-that-tell-us-how-people-perceive-visual-information/

CERN scientists inexplicably present Higgs boson findings in Comic Sans
http://www.theverge.com/2012/7/4/3136652/cern-scientists-comic-sans-higgs-boson

Yuccie: The hipster is dead, and you might not like who comes next
http://mashable.com/2015/06/09/post-hipster-yuccie/

Wikipedia: Autological words are words whose form have something to do with what the word means.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Autological_word

Merriam-Webster: boustrophedon
http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/boustrophedon

howjsay: boustrophedon
http://www.howjsay.com/index.php?word=boustrophedon

A.Word.A.Day
http://www.wordsmith.org/words/boustrophedon.html

How to Pronounce Boustrophedon (wrongly)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CvaK1tYc3OU

@talkrtr @benainslie @RTRFM Here’s a disturbing “typeface based on the grasping limbs of submarine creatures”: https://t.co/mPsY4RUOXd

— Darin Flynn (@darin_flynn) June 15, 2015


Show tunes

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

Image credit: https://vimeo.com/5385464

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