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Tagged with “lexicon valley” (10)

  1. The etymology and early history of the word “dude”

    According to the Oxford English Dictionary, the word dude is a made-up slang term whose origin is "not recorded." But a number of etymology sleuths, on the trail of dude for more than a decade, have recently pieced together a convincing theory of how the word may have been coined and where it was popularized. Bob Garfield and I discuss the fascinating early history of dudery, including Mark Twain’s literary use of the word in his 1889 satire A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court.

    http://www.slate.com/articles/podcasts/lexicon_valley/2014/01/lexicon_valley_the_etymology_and_early_history_of_the_word_dude.html

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  2. 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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  3. 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

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  4. 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

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  5. Lexicon Valley: Why should we care if a language goes extinct? - Slate Magazine

    By some estimates, approximately half of all languages currently alive on Earth will become extinct during this century. That’s somewhere in the neighborhood of 3,000-plus tongues, many spoken by only tens or hundreds of people. But what exactly do we lose when a language dies without ever having been documented? Is it equivalent to, say, species extinction? Listen as Bob Garfield and I discuss the race to preserve what is arguably humanity’s most impressive achievement.

    http://www.slate.com/articles/podcasts/lexicon_valley/2012/07/lexicon_valley_why_should_we_care_if_a_language_goes_extinct_.html

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  6. Lexicon Valley: Beginning and ending all of our thoughts with “so.” - Slate Magazine

    Have you noticed the seemingly stratospheric rise of the word “so” in recent years? People use it not only as a conjunction or an intensifying adverb—as in “That’s so awesome!”—but also to begin or end sentences in a manner pregnant with implied meaning. So … Bob Garfield and I set out to determine what this sort of “so” might in fact be accomplishing. http://www.slate.com/articles/podcasts/lexicon_valley/2012/04/lexicon_valley_beginning_and_ending_all_of_our_thoughts_with_so_.html

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  7. Lexicon Valley: Webster’s Third, the most controversial dictionary ever published. - Slate Magazine

    In the early 1960s, amid a nuclear arms race with the Soviet Union, a burgeoning civil rights movement here at home, and a dawning countercultural revolution, America’s intellectual class was in an utter freak out over a dictionary. That’s right, the 1961 publication of Webster’s Third Edition incited otherwise sober-minded newspaper and magazine writers to declare nothing less than the end of the world. Bob Garfield and I talk to author David Skinner about his forthcoming book, The Story of Ain’t: America, Its Language, and the Most Controversial Dictionary Ever Published.

    http://www.slate.com/articles/podcasts/lexicon_valley/2012/03/lexicon_valley_webster_s_third_the_most_controversial_dictionary_ever_published_.html

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  8. Lexicon Valley: Why we keep saying “between you and I.” - Slate Magazine

    Do you flinch when someone says “between you and I”? Textbook English tells us it’s ungrammatical, and yet it’s arguably more common than the officially sanctioned “between you and me.” Tennessee Williams, Mark Twain, William Shakespeare—all were guilty of using “I” when the sentence cried out for “me.” Or maybe they weren’t so guilty after all. Bob Garfield and I discuss the oft-uttered, much-maligned “between you and I.”

    http://www.slate.com/articles/podcasts/lexicon_valley/2012/02/lexicon_valley_why_we_keep_saying_between_you_and_i_.html

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  9. Lexicon Valley: Why we think we can’t end a sentence with a preposition. - Slate Magazine

    We all learned you’re not supposed to end a sentence with a preposition. But from where did this alleged rule come? And why does it encumber us with such labored sentences as the one preceding this? In the first episode of Slate’s new language program Lexicon Valley, producer Mike Vuolo and On the Media co-host Bob Garfield explore the history of the terminal preposition rule, and whether there are good reasons to follow it.

    http://www.slate.com/articles/podcasts/lexicon_valley/2012/02/lexicon_valley_why_we_think_we_can_t_end_a_sentence_with_a_preposition_.html

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