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February 16 2014


February 12 2014


Pundits, Hacks and Wonks | Grammar Grater | Minnesota Public Radio News

Grammar Grater™ is a weekly podcast about English words, grammar and usage for the Information Age. http://minnesota.publicradio.org/radio/podcasts/grammar_grater/archive/2009/04/23/

February 11 2014


Radio Moscow: circa 1968 — The Shortwave Radio Audio Archive

The Shortwave Radio Audio Archive (SRAA) is a collection of shortwave radio recordings that you can download or listen to as a podcast.  The collection grows every day and includes both historic recordings and current recordings from the shortwave radio spectrum.The goal of this site is for shortwave radio enthusiast to have a place to store, archive and share their radio recordings with the world. Click here to learn how to contribute and archive recordings.  http://shortwavearchive.com/archive/2i3k6b80959ilkwz45s0v7s2uhe54k

February 09 2014


The History of English Podcast Episode 3: The Indo-European Family Tree

A look at the family tree of Indo-European languages and the relationship of English to those related languages. The closest relatives of English are highlighted, including the Germanic languages, Latin and Greek. We explore the background of English from the first Indo-Europeans to the first Anglo-Saxons in Britain. http://historyofenglishpodcast.com/2013/08/04/episode-3-the-indo-european-family-tree-4/

The History of English Podcast Episode 2: The Indo-European Discovery

The story of the discovery of the ancient language which gave rise to most of the languages of Europe, including English. http://historyofenglishpodcast.com/2013/08/04/episode-2-the-indo-european-discovery-5/

January 31 2014


Dubravka - 360documentaries - ABC Radio National (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)

Dubravka is a refugee from Bosnia who is learning English but the politeness of our culture keeps confounding her. http://www.abc.net.au/radionational/programs/360/dubravka/5214680

January 16 2014


Judge John Hodgman Episode 142: The Department of Corrections | Maximum Fun

Save the M-W editor's two cents, only poor Tom's contribution to this episode was of any value. Know-it-all Kira knows very little about the English language. Anyone who advocates only for a fix "proper" or "correct"' English should also feel comfortable wishing we spoke the English of Beowulf, or possibly even the PIE. Language changes -- at its lexical, morphological, syntactic, and discourse levels. Even an individual's language use changes from hour to hour (or minute to minute!) as we tend to adjust our usage based on our audience's expectations. And sure, stick with Standard/General during the cover letter and job interview. But the fact that "Mary and I" can also be uttered as "Me and Mary" around almost any company of people in the US, or that "firstly" and "most importantly" are now frequently used as sentence modifiers is of little consequence. People use all of the above. Speakers of the language, even fairly low-proficiency non-native speakers, understand what's being said. Also, unkindly Kira doesn't understand that her argument lies in kowtowing to a variety of American English that has the most prestige, at least in her world. Hearing her utter, "I just want my husband to sound as smart as he is," she unconsciously follows a false belief that using a more prestigious variety of English is the same as being or being perceived as "intelligent." The Kiras of the world often judge the intelligence or worth of Southerners, New Englanders, rural Americans, or racial/ethnic minorities in the US for their shifted vowels, unfamiliar lexicon, or less often heard morpho-syntactic variations without knowing anything about how well those speakers (or writers) are adhering to the conventions of the variety of American English that they were raised to use. What we have in Kira is a person who simply feels the need to put other people down, especially her husband. Her grammatical "corrections" probably serve as one tool for dominating their relationship. (Hear Tom's "I feel tense," and "I'll let her lead by example.") From the sound of things, this character trait is so fundamental to her that I suspect to question the underpinnings of this corrective wont would probably never occur to her, even after this episode. http://maximumfun.org/judge-john-hodgman/judge-john-hodgman-episode-142-department-corrections

January 13 2014


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

January 11 2014


In Our Time: Caxton and the Printing Press

Melvyn Bragg and his guests discuss the life and influence of William Caxton, the merchant who brought the printing press to Britain. After working abroad for several years, Caxton set up his first printing press in Westminster in 1476. The advent of print is now seen as one of the great revolutions in intellectual history, although it was a revolution that took time to have an effect. Melvyn Bragg is joined by Richard Gameson, Professor of the History of the Book at the University of Durham; Julia Boffey, Professor of Medieval Studies at Queen Mary, University of London and David Rundle of the History Faculty at the University of Oxford.

January 09 2014


Michael Hulse: In Translation

Michael Hulse is an English translator, critic and poet and he's in conversation with Peter Goldsworthy at Adelaide Writers' Week. Hulse has compiled a splendid anthology - The 20th century in Poetry - that comprises not just the greats like T S Eliot but some terrific obscure poets - who've written wonderful works. He's pushed way beyond London and New York in putting together this anthology. If you love poetry - buy the book! The second half of the conversation focuses on Hulse's work as a translator - from German to English - he's probably best known as one of the translators of German writer, W G Sebald. He describes the difficulties in translating accurately the nuances in any work but he's not above a bit of gossip about some of the writers he translates. http://www.abc.net.au/tv/bigideas/stories/2012/08/06/3561723.htm

December 25 2013


Language Evolution, 2013

The year in language. Cronut. Vape. Twerk. Sharknado. We'll look at the language that went large in 2013.

December 24 2013


Episode 1: Introduction | The History of English Podcast

In this introductory episode, we look at the emergence of English as a global language and the evolution of the language from its Germanic origins. http://historyofenglishpodcast.com/2013/07/31/episode-1-introduction/

October 25 2013


Grammar Girl 161: Affect Versus Effect

When to use affect and effect is one of the most common questions I get. This is an expanded show based on the original episode covering when to use affect with an a and when to use effect with an e.

February 10 2012


History of Criticism 9

A class taught by Tim Morton at UC Davis on February 7, 2012.

April 27 2011


Evolving English - Steven Pinker

Steven Pinker discusses the interplay of language and the mind and how psychological processes have shaped the English language. The best stuff is about using Google's enormous database of word-from-books to track how language evolves over time, in particular the gradual erosion of irregular forms in English (keep/kept and drive/drove) in favour of their regular counterparts (beep/beeped and jive/jived). Which you WILL want to follow up with a visit to Google Ngrams - http://ngrams.googlelabs.com/ - essentially Google Trends but with all written words in the English language for the last 1,000 years (instead of all search terms in the last ten years). Mind-blowing.
Tags: english

February 24 2011


VOA Special English News

Listen to a 30-minute broadcast of VOA Special English from today.

February 08 2011


An Interview with Kip Cates

Talking Global Education with Kip Cates in Osaka, Japan. See the video interview and read more at www.livesofteachers.com

December 16 2010


'Pushing Up Daisies' And Our Passion For Euphemisms : NPR

From "passed away" to "Chilean sea bass," euphemisms are a way to avoid unpleasant terms or phrases. But in Euphemania, Ralph Keyes argues that using them isn't necessarily lazy or evasive; it can actually be harder to not say what we mean and still get our point across. http://www.npr.org/2010/12/14/132056878/-euphemania-our-passion-for-not-saying-it

December 04 2010


David Crystal - The Stories of English

Evolving English shows very clearly that there is no single story of the English language. David Crystal explores aspects of its evolution. Introduced by Roger Walshe. From the Evolving English exhibition at the British Library. From http://www.bl.uk/whatson/podcasts/type/talks/index.html

November 22 2010


Science Diction: The Origin Of The Word 'Atom' : NPR

The British poet and alchemist Thomas Norton used the word "attoms" in his 1477 poem, The Ordinal of Alchemy. Historian Howard Markel explains how Norton came to use the word, and points out earlier philosophers who raised the concept of indivisible units of matter. http://www.npr.org/2010/11/19/131447080/science-diction-the-origin-of-the-word-atom?ft=1&f=1007
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