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.
He wrote to her mainly in Swedish, and she replied in Finnish. A linguist in Texas says the letters are a goldmine for the study of code-switching.
Do names determine destiny? Many parents in the Indian state of Kerala hope so, even if the names they chose for their children are going out of fashion.
English is spoken with countless accents by both native and non-native speakers. But a hierarchy of accents persists. So whether you're from Thailand or Tennessee, accent reduction may be a goal.
What are the words and images that best describe this past year? And why do some people think "whom" is obsolete?
What if you could synthesize your voice with just one-minute of audio? Forget hypotheticals. You can.
Where does Mexican-ness or Haitian-ness end, and American-ness begin?