The Allusionist-logo

The Allusionist

PRX

Linguistic adventures with Helen Zaltzman for Radiotopia.fm. The Allusionist is a proud member of Radiotopia, from PRX, a curated network of extraordinary, story-driven shows. Learn more at radiotopia.fm

Linguistic adventures with Helen Zaltzman for Radiotopia.fm. The Allusionist is a proud member of Radiotopia, from PRX, a curated network of extraordinary, story-driven shows. Learn more at radiotopia.fm
More Information

Location:

United Kingdom

Networks:

PRX

Radiotopia

Description:

Linguistic adventures with Helen Zaltzman for Radiotopia.fm. The Allusionist is a proud member of Radiotopia, from PRX, a curated network of extraordinary, story-driven shows. Learn more at radiotopia.fm

Language:

English


Episodes

80. Warm Front

6/16/2018
More
Today will be fine. But wait: fine as in ‘OK’, fine as in ‘really rather good’, or fine as in ‘no precipitation’? When you’re a TV weather forecaster, you have to deal with the mismatch of your specialist vocabulary with that of the meteorological laypeople watching – as well as cover all the weather across … Continue reading 80. Warm Front

Duration:00:18:34

79. Queer

6/3/2018
More
Strange or obtuse; a stinging homophobic slur; a radical political rejection of normativity; a broad term encompassing every and any variation on sexual orientation and gender identity: the word ‘queer’ has a multifarious past and complicated present. Tracing its movements are Kathy Tu and Tobin Low from Nancy podcast, Eric Marcus from Making Gay History, historian and author Amy Sueyoshi, and Jonathan … Continue reading 79. Queer

Duration:00:28:38

78. Oot in the Open

5/21/2018
More
You are born and raised in a household speaking a language. Then you start going to school, and that language is banned. If you speak it, you’ll be punished physically or psychologically. Across your country, there are people like you who associate their first language with shame, or not even being a language at all. … Continue reading 78. Oot in the Open

Duration:00:26:21

42+43. Survival: The Key rerun

5/4/2018
More
To accompany the current Allusionist miniseries Survival, about minority languages facing suppression and extinction, we’re revisiting this double bill of The Key episodes about why languages die and how they can be resuscitated. The Rosetta Stone and its modern equivalent the Rosetta Disk preserve writing systems to be read by future generations. But how do … Continue reading 42+43. Survival: The Key rerun

Duration:00:27:10

77. Survival part 1: Second Home

4/21/2018
More
There are two main places in the world where the Welsh language is spoken: Wales, and the Chubut Province in Patagonia. How did this ancient language take root in rural Argentina, 12,000 miles away from its home base? Find out more about this episode at http://theallusionist.org/survival1. The Allusionist’s online home is http://theallusionist.org. Stay in touch … Continue reading 77. Survival part 1: Second Home

Duration:00:27:59

76. Across the Pond

4/6/2018
More
Pavement/sidewalk; football/soccer; bum bag/fanny pack: we know that the English language is different in the UK and the USA. But why? Linguist Lynne Murphy points out the geographical, cultural and social influences that separate the common language. Find out more about this episode at http://theallusionist.org/across-the-pond. The Allusionist’s online home is http://theallusionist.org. Stay in touch at … Continue reading 76. Across the Pond

Duration:00:25:42

75. Ear Hustling

3/22/2018
More
Today we’re going inside to open up the unofficial dictionary of San Quentin state prison, compiled by Earlonne Woods of Ear Hustle podcast. Content note: this episode contains some Adult Language. Find out more about this episode at http://theallusionist.org/ear-hustling. The Allusionist is a proud member of Radiotopia from PRX, a collective of the best podcasts … Continue reading 75. Ear Hustling

Duration:00:17:52

74. Take A Swear Pill

3/9/2018
More
CONTENT WARNING: there is swearing in this episode. But the happy news is: swearing is good for you! Dr Emma Byrne explains how swearing can be beneficial to your physical health and emotional wellbeing, while Matt Fidler of Very Bad Words gives some tips to ensure you swear properly to optimise the positive effects. Find … Continue reading 74. Take A Swear Pill

Duration:00:28:30

73. Supername!

2/23/2018
More
Up in the sky: look! It’s an adjective! It’s a noun! It’s…Adjectivenoun! Your friendly neighbourhood superheroes might have thrilling and varied powers and spandex garments, but the way their names are concocted have followed only a handful of formulae in the past 80 years, since Superman sent superheroes soaring. (Yes, alliteration is one such naming formula.) Glen Weldon … Continue reading 73. Supername!

Duration:00:21:47

72. Hey

2/9/2018
More
“Hey.” “Going to the supermarket, want me to get you anything?” “Puppies or ice cream?” “What’s your glasses prescription?” “I wanna ***** your *********.” If you’ve used a dating app, maybe you’ve received one of the above messages from a stranger, or sent them. Striking up an interaction with someone is a tricky business. Why … Continue reading 72. Hey

Duration:00:23:11

71. Triumph/Trumpet/Top/Fart

1/26/2018
More
It’s a year since Donald Trump was inaugurated as the 45th president of the United States. And in that year, he’s caused a lot of changes in the job of constitutional law professor Elizabeth Joh of TrumpConLaw podcast – in particular, one verb is now off limits. Plus: Paul Anthony Jones, aka etymologist extraordinaire Haggard … Continue reading 71. Triumph/Trumpet/Top/Fart

Duration:00:21:47

70. Bonus 2017

12/22/2017
More
It’s the annual bonus episode. Throughout the year, the people who appear on the show tell me a lot of interesting stuff, not all of which is relevant to the episode they initially appeared in, so I stash it away in preparation for this moment. This year, hear about the history of roller skates, zazzification, … Continue reading 70. Bonus 2017

Duration:00:21:55

69. How the Dickens stole Christmas

12/9/2017
More
Charles Dickens wrote about the plight of the impoverished and destitute members of British society. So how come his name is a synonym for rosy-cheeked, full-stomached, fattened-goose, hearty merry “God bless us every one” Christmas? Avery Trufelman and Katie Mingle of 99% Invisible report from the streets of Victorian London at the annual Dickens Christmas Fair … Continue reading 69. How the Dickens stole Christmas

Duration:00:30:35

68. Curse Soup

11/24/2017
More
Somebody has really ticked you off. You’re all steamed up inside and you want to vent that rage using words, but you don’t want to confront them directly because you’re either too polite or too cowardly. So do you: A. Subtweet them. B. With your finger, scrawl an insulting message into the dirt on their … Continue reading 68. Curse Soup

Duration:00:17:25

67. Open Me part II

11/10/2017
More
You’re holding a letter. What’s inside? A weather report from 5,000 miles away? Some devastating family history? A single word? A heartfelt dispatch from your past self that’s about to change the course of your life? Find out more about this episode at http://theallusionist.org/open-me-2. The Allusionist is a proud member of Radiotopia from PRX, a … Continue reading 67. Open Me part II

Duration:00:30:10

66. Open Me part I

10/27/2017
More
From Me To You’s Alison Hitchcock and Brian Greenley didn’t know each other well. But when Brian was diagnosed with stage 4 cancer, Alison offered to write him letters. 100 letters later, their lives were changed. One of the newest members of Radiotopia is Ear Hustle, a podcast made inside San Quentin by and about … Continue reading 66. Open Me part I

Duration:00:23:37

65. Eponyms III: Who’s That Guy?

10/13/2017
More
Roman Mars returns for our annual dose of eponyms – words that derive from people’s names. This year: explosive revelations about the origins of the word ‘guy’. Find out more about this episode at http://theallusionist.org/guy. CONTENT NOTE: the episode contains a description of 17th century torture and execution. The show’s online home is http://theallusionist.org. Stay … Continue reading 65. Eponyms III: Who’s That Guy?

Duration:00:20:30

64. Technobabble

9/30/2017
More
You’ve encountered technobabble when Doc Brown is shouting about flux capacitors in Back To The Future, or when Isaac Asimov writes about positronic brains. Astrophysicist Katie Mack and NASA JPL technologist Manan Arya discuss how science fact relates to science fiction. This episode is a collaboration with Eric Molinsky of Imaginary Worlds; listen to his … Continue reading 64. Technobabble

Duration:00:22:28

63. Evolution of Accents

9/15/2017
More
“Accent is identity. It’s a way of encoding and signaling – almost completely at an unconscious level for most people – who they feel like they are, who they want to be seen as, what group they feel like they belong to.” The podcast Twenty Thousand Hertz investigates how accents have evolved in the UK … Continue reading 63. Evolution of Accents

Duration:00:25:48

62. In Crypt, Decrypt

9/2/2017
More
Crossword-solving is often a solitary activity – over breakfast; on the train; on the loo… But a few times a year, crossword puzzle enthusiasts gather in their hundreds to compete to be the fastest, most accurate crossword-solver. This episode comes to you from a church basement on the Upper East Side of New York City, … Continue reading 62. In Crypt, Decrypt

Duration:00:41:04