When I was a kid my favorite record was a collection of sounds of the city: sirens, cooing pigeons, jack hammers, bicycle bells, dogs barking, horns honking, etc. I would play this record, much to the sheer agony of my parents, ad nauseum, making up a story for each sound. I like to think that was the first hint of a career in public radio. I joined The World's newsroom in 2013 after working as an independent producer/reporter. Prior to that I had a penchant for joining corps; first the Peace Corps in Romania and then traveling around the U.S. in an Airstream trailer as a facilitator for StoryCorps. When I'm not enlisting in yet another corps, you may find me baking pie, eating pie, and pretty much thinking about pie.
The World in Words
This week on the podcast we talk about Basque. How did this language survive the military dictatorship of Francisco Franco when speaking and writing and reading were illegal? With more than six dialects, how did Basque develop a language standard? And how has this minority language thrived and even grown in the years since Francisco Franco’s dictatorship ended?
The World in Words
What's the meaning of all those howls and growls? Is it language? This week on the podcast, NOVA's Ari Daniel explores how three species communicate.
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.
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.
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.
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.
What if you could synthesize your voice with just one-minute of audio? Forget hypotheticals. You can.
In the run-up to the US presidential election, Cristina López came across language online that she didn’t understand — terms like “meme magic,” “red-pilled” and “nimble navigator.” They kept popping up in Reddit and 4chan where Donald Trump supporters posted. López and her colleagues at nonprofit Media Matters for America have spent many hours lurking on these message boards, deciphering what she calls the pro-Trump troll dialect. This week on the podcast, López explains some of the dialect.
The Jewish residents of the Polish village of Jedwabne were killed July 10, 1941. For years the village attributed the massacre to German soldiers. In 2000, historian Jan Gross wrote a book that told a different story, that the Jews were killed by their Polish neighbors. The book caused an uproar in Poland and the story of Jedwabne continues to reverberate in Poland today.
This week on The World in Words podcast: swearing around the globe and the bad words our grandmothers teach us.