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January 13 2014

16:02

Lexicon Valley: The historical present in Seinfeld and the novels of Charlotte Bronte

Listen to Lexicon Valley Episode No. 15: "Then Is Now, Now and Then." Do you ever catch yourself talking about past events in the present tense? Linguists call it the “historical present.” http://www.slate.com/articles/podcasts/lexicon_valley/2012/07/lexicon_valley_the_historical_present_in_seinfeld_and_the_novels_of_charlotte_bronte.html

August 10 2012

19:43

Lexicon Valley: How grammatical gender changes our thinking, and how English lost its genders. - Slate Magazine

Does talking about an object as masculine or feminine somehow cause us to think of it that way? In the second part of a Lexicon Valley series about language and gender, Bob Garfield and I discuss the fascinating research by Stanford psychologist Lera Boroditsky involving grammar and perception. We talk also about what may have happened to grammatical gender in English. That’s right, once upon a time we had grammatical gender too. But then we lost it. http://www.slate.com/articles/podcasts/lexicon_valley/2012/05/lexicon_valley_how_grammatical_gender_changes_our_thinking_and_how_english_lost_its_genders_.html
19:43

Lexicon Valley: Seeking a gender neutral alternative to he and she. - Slate Magazine

In the third and final installment of our Lexicon Valley series about language and gender, Bob Garfield and I discuss the ongoing quest for a single, more equitable alternative to “he” and “she.” Since at least the 1850s, English speakers have made many unsuccessful attempts to introduce an epicene pronoun into the language. But University of Michigan professor Anne Curzan argues that we don’t need such a word, since we already have a perfectly acceptable, if controversial, alternative—just use “they.” Don’t like that solution? Maybe she’ll convince you. http://www.slate.com/articles/podcasts/lexicon_valley/2012/05/lexicon_valley_seeking_a_gender_neutral_alternative_to_he_and_she_.html
19:42

The man who hunts for anachronisms in Mad Men, Downton Abbey, and Edith Wharton. - Slate Magazine

For period dramas like Downton Abbey and Mad Men, historical authenticity is crucial to the viewer experience. Vigilant designers work from photos to accurately recreate everything from kitchenware to hairstyles. But what about the dialogue?... http://www.slate.com/articles/podcasts/lexicon_valley/2012/06/lexicon_valley_anachronisms_in_mad_men_downton_abbey_and_edith_wharton_.html
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