theJBJshow / collective

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Huffduffed (17)

  1. Signing, Singing, Speaking: How Language Evolved : NPR

    Humans evolved a brain with an extraordinary knack for language, but just how and when we began using language is still largely a mystery. Early human communication may have been in sign language or song, and scientists are studying other animals to learn how human language evolved.

    —Huffduffed by mswannock

  2. A Man, A Plan And A Sharpie: ‘The Great Typo Hunt’

    Incensed by a "no tresspassing" sign, Jeff Deck launched a cross-country trip to right grammatical wrongs.

    He enlisted a friend, Benjamin D. Herson, and together they got to work erasing errant quotation marks, rectifying misspellings and cutting unnecessary possessive apostrophes.

    The Great Typo Hunt is the story of their crusade.

    —Huffduffed by mswannock

  3. FOF #1089 – Grammar Girl Dishes it Up – 11.06.09

    In 2006 Mignon Fogarty started Grammar Girl, a podcast to help others with their writing by providing short episodes done in a smart, savvy tone that makes learning fun.

    Months after kicking off her new podcast Mignon was on the Oprah Winfrey Show, named by iTunes as one of the best podcasts of the year and was nominated along with us for the People’s Choice Podcast Award’s top prize.

    Mignon is considered by many as one of the most successful podcasters of all time. Who knew that doing a podcast on grammar would be such a hot success?

    Today Mignon joins us in our studio to talk about the common problems everyone has with grammar and gives us a behind the scenes look at her incredible journey.

    —Huffduffed by mswannock

  4. The Stuff of Thought: Language as a window into human nature

    With Steven Pinker, Johnstone Family Professor in the Department of Psychology at Harvard University.

    Chair: Matthew Taylor, chief executive, RSA

    For Steven Pinker, the brilliance of the mind lies in the way it uses just two processes to turn the finite building blocks of our language into infinite meanings. The first is metaphor: we take a concrete idea and use it as a stand-in for abstract thoughts. The second is combination: we combine ideas according to rules, like the syntactic rules of language, to create new thoughts out of old ones.

    How can a choice of metaphors start a war, impeach a president, or win an election? How does a mind that evolved to think about rocks and plants and enemies think about love and physics and democracy? How do we control the amount of information that we absorb? And what good does this actually do us?

    Join Steven Pinker as he tries to answer these questions and many more, unlocking the hidden workings of our thoughts, our emotions and our social relationships and showing us that language really can tell us unexpected and fascinating things about ourselves.


    —Huffduffed by mswannock

  5. Robert McCrum | Globish: How the English Language Became the World’s Language

    Robert McCrum is the associate editor of The Observer (London) and co-author of the bestseller The Story of English, a history of the English language, that went on to be adapted into an Emmy Award-winning nine-part PBS television series. He is the author of six works of fiction, including In the Secret State and Mainland. Among his nonfiction books are the acclaimed biography Wodehouse: A Life and the memoir My Year Off: Recovering Life after a Stroke. In Globish, McCrum argues, "that a seismic shift in the foundations of our lingua franca has transformed [British and American English] from an expression of Anglo-American cultural sovereignty into a supra-national phenomenon, with its own powerful inner dynamic." (recorded 6/10/2010)

    —Huffduffed by mswannock

  6. 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 - - 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).


    —Huffduffed by mswannock

  7. Steven Pinker: The Stuff of Thought

    October 26 2007 - A discussion on Point of Inquiry - Pinker explores what our use of language can tell us about human nature. He discusses our use of metaphors, and what concepts may be innate, how the “language of thought” may be hard-wired in our brains. He also explains how to avoid the pitfalls of such hard-wiring, using the methods of science as the model.

    —Huffduffed by mswannock

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