George Bernard Shaw ridiculed the British obsession with class, recognising that its most powerful expression was not in what someone said, but how he or she said it. Using a wealth of archive, we hear how the drive to hide linguistic, geographical roots often went hand in hand with a desire to be seen as part of the metropolitan set and we hear about the post war levelling and the move away from RP.
Tagged with “linguistics” (4)
Remember misunderstanding certain words as a child? Maybe you figured “cat burglars” only stole cats, or assumed guerrilla fighters must be angry apes. Martha and Grant discuss childhood misunderstandings about language. Also this week, Yankee dimes, culch piles, hanging crepe, educational rubrics, and whether the language you speak influences the way you think.
Presentation from SXSW 2011.
When the New York Times banned the word "Tweet" from it’s pages, it marked the first time a major publication had formally rejected a Internet-born branded verb. As new behaviors are created online, our culture struggles with ways to define them and often settles on flawed nomenclature. In this hour we will take a look at some of the most misleading words from the digital lexicon and try to pick a few to banish forever.
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).