The World in Words podcast is about language — everything from bilingual education to the globalization of English to Icelandic insults. Hosted by The World's Patrick Cox. Subscribe to the podcast: RSS iTunes

Culture

The three-letter word that rocked a nation

In 2012, Sweden erupted in a national debate over the pronoun "hen." Traditionally, Swedish has gendered pronouns when referring to people. There is no gender-neutral pronoun for people. "Hen" was a new word meant to fill a gap in the language. This week on The World in Words podcast we explore how a little-known and little-used word went mainstream in Sweden.

Culture

A British 'Mx.' tape

Mx. is a gender-neutral title that's gaining popularity in the UK. Though the road to acceptance for this prefix has not been without a struggle. On The World in Words podcast, we delve into the fight over this two-letter word.

Culture

The secretive language of professional wrestling

In 1984 professional wrestler Dr. "D" David Schultz smacked the TV journalist John Stoessel to the ground backstage at Madison Square Garden. Why? One word: kayfabe. This week on The World in Words we throw on some tights and get into the ring to explore this word you were never supposed to hear.

Science

Where does language come from?

Humans are the only creatures on Earth that can choke on their own food. Yes, that’s right. Why would humans have evolved such potentially fatal architecture? Some experts say the reason is speech. This week on the podcast, we explore several theories about where language comes from.

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