The rapid-fire, tongue-twisting “patter song” is a staple of musical theater. Linguist John McWhorter explores the patter song’s history, while “Tootsie” composer David Yazbek gives a masterclass on writing one.
During the Cold War, you could get a job at the Pentagon or State Department job if you spoke Russian. Today you're guaranteed nothing more than the agony of grappling with Russian grammar. Still, there are signs that a few Americans are taking the plunge.
A Yale economist's research shows that if you speak a language that, grammatically speaking, treats the present tense and future tense the same way, unlike English, you'll save vastly more more money over the course of your life.
A controversial new study out of Yale concludes that people who speak languages without future verb tenses like Chinese are better at preparing for the future than people who use a future tense like in English, French, and Spanish for example.
The public sector is the leading employer for African-American men, and the second-largest employer for African-American women – which means public sector lay-offs have disproportionately affected the black middle class. What is the solution?
These days, we're hearing profanity from the mouth of an 11-year-old girl in a box office hit and from the Vice President of the United States. Is cursing becoming more acceptable? Would it be less offensive if we all cussed more?
The NAACP has wrapped up its Centennial Convention, and The Takeaway is joined by John McWhorter, Senior Fellow at the Manhattan Institute, to look at the relevance of the 100-year old institution and the challenges it faces in the 21st century.
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