Full story - April 03, 2018
British band The xx performing at the Pabst Theater, Milwaukee.
From X-rated to Gen X to Latinx, the meaning of "X" has shifted while retaining an edgy, transgressive quality.
Full story - March 27, 2018
In 2007 Språk Magazine published an article about "hen" that raised the profile of the word. In 2012, the children's book, "Kivi & Monsterhund" was published sparking a nationwide debate about "hen"
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.
Full story - March 19, 2018
Mx. is an honorific growing in popularity
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.
Full story - March 09, 2018
A poster of professional wrestler Hulk Hogan mugging for the camera.
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.
Full story - February 21, 2018
Many silhouetted figures depicting the evolution of man
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.
Full story - February 13, 2018
Aino and Jean Sibelius flanking a letter written by Jean to Aino.
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.
Full story - January 30, 2018
Lenin Lal is a local politician in the Indian state of Kerala.
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.
Full story - January 11, 2018
A flyer in New York City offering accent reduction classes
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.
Full story - December 19, 2017
What are the words and images that best describe this past year? And why do some people think "whom" is obsolete?
Full story - December 13, 2017
Alex Bukasa, a Congolese asylum-seeker and former journalist, poses in front of the White House.
What if you could synthesize your voice with just one-minute of audio? Forget hypotheticals. You can.