Lexicon Valley

Lexicon Valley

www.slate.com/lexiconvalley
A show about language from Slate.


Coronavirus: Isolation and Aspiration
May 26 • 44 min
Can strongly aspirated consonants increase transmission of COVID-19? Slate Plus members get a bonus segment on Lexicon Valley each week, and no ads. Sign up now to listen and support our show. Twitter: @lexiconvalley Facebook: facebook.com/LexiconValley…
Our Indigenous Languages
May 12 • 60 min
A luxuriance of long words, baroque case endings and irregular everything—the Native American tongues! Slate Plus members get a bonus segment on Lexicon Valley each week, and no ads. Sign up now to listen and support our show. Twitter: @lexiconvalley…
I Just Can’t!
Apr 28 • 45 min
Host John McWhorter shares some of his longstanding language peeves—yes, linguists have them too! Slate Plus members get a bonus segment on Lexicon Valley each week, and no ads. Sign up now to listen and support our show. Twitter: @lexiconvalley Facebook:…
The Many Meanings of Too
Apr 14 • 42 min
Host John McWhorter finds linguistic inspiration in an 80-year-old musical performance of Rubber Dolly. Slate Plus members get a bonus segment on Lexicon Valley each week, and no ads. Sign up now to listen and support our show. Twitter: @lexiconvalley…
Sicko, Whacko, Weirdo
Mar 31 • 43 min
The -o suffix traces back to old comic strip characters with names like Knocko and Groucho. Neato! Slate Plus members get a bonus segment on Lexicon Valley each week, and no ads. Sign up now to listen and support our show. Twitter: @lexiconvalley…
Chinese Has No Grammar, Right? Wrong!
Mar 17 • 50 min
Mandarin might not have gender or case endings but there’s more to grammar than conjugations. Slate Plus members get a bonus segment on Lexicon Valley each week, and no ads. Sign up now to listen and support our show. Twitter: @lexiconvalley Facebook:…
From Uptalk to Vocal Fry, Women Are Prolific Language Innovators
Mar 4 • 49 min
Want to hear what English will sound like in the future? Talk to a woman. Slate Plus members get a bonus segment on Lexicon Valley each week, and no ads. Sign up now to listen and support our show. Twitter: @lexiconvalley Facebook:…
In What Order Did Languages Arrive in Europe?
Feb 18 • 43 min
DNA analysis is revealing which speakers traveled where and when. Join Slate Plus! Members get bonus segments, exclusive member-only podcasts, and more. Sign up for a free trial today at www.slate.com/podcastsplus. Twitter: @lexiconvalley Facebook:…
Digging Up the Past
Feb 4 • 41 min
Let’s talk about how we talk about that which already occurred. Join Slate Plus! Members get bonus segments, exclusive member-only podcasts, and more. Sign up for a free trial today at www.slate.com/podcastsplus. Twitter: @lexiconvalley Facebook:…
Verbs on the Move
Jan 21 • 40 min
Coming and going in languages around the world. Join Slate Plus! Members get bonus segments, exclusive member-only podcasts, and more. Sign up for a free trial today at www.slate.com/podcastsplus. Twitter: @lexiconvalley Facebook:…
Does PROCESSES Rhyme with KNEES?
Jan 7 • 47 min
How our idea of formality can affect the way we say certain words. Join Slate Plus! Members get bonus segments, exclusive member-only podcasts, and more. Sign up for a free trial today at www.slate.com/podcastsplus. Twitter: @lexiconvalley Facebook:…
A Bisl Yiddish
Dec 24, 2019 • 46 min
Add to German a large helping of Hebrew and a dollop of Slavic. Stir. Let marinate. Enjoy! Join Slate Plus! Members get bonus segments, exclusive member-only podcasts, and more. Sign up for a free trial today at www.slate.com/podcastsplus. Twitter:…
Private Parts
Dec 10, 2019 • 40 min
What does a rooster have to do with male genitalia anyway? Join Slate Plus! Members get bonus segments, exclusive member-only podcasts, and more. Sign up for a free trial today at www.slate.com/podcastsplus. Twitter: @lexiconvalley Facebook:…
The Soft Power of Like
Nov 26, 2019 • 45 min
Terms such as “like” and “sort of” are ways for English speakers to sound more polite. Join Slate Plus! Members get bonus segments, exclusive member-only podcasts, and more. Sign up for a free trial today at www.slate.com/podcastsplus. Twitter:…
Men, Women and Children
Nov 12, 2019 • 36 min
What is it with people and animals and irregular plurals? Join Slate Plus! Members get bonus segments, exclusive member-only podcasts, and more. Sign up for a free trial today at www.slate.com/podcastsplus. Twitter: @lexiconvalley Facebook:…
Zombie English
Oct 29, 2019 • 34 min
Slate Plus members get bonus segments and ad-free podcast feeds. Sign up now. Long-dead elements of the language still haunt our everyday speech. Twitter: @lexiconvalley Facebook: facebook.com/LexiconValley Email: lexiconvalley@slate.com Learn more about…
Let’s Do Lunch
Oct 16, 2019 • 37 min
Slate Plus members get bonus segments and ad-free podcast feeds. Sign up now. Come table-hopping as we discuss the linguistic quirks of some mealtime terms. Twitter: @lexiconvalley Facebook: facebook.com/LexiconValley Email: lexiconvalley@slate.com Learn…
How to Think Like a Linguist
Oct 1, 2019 • 36 min
Slate Plus members get bonus segments and ad-free podcast feeds. Sign up now. Never mind those 26 letters—the English language has 44 unique sounds. Twitter: @lexiconvalley Facebook: facebook.com/LexiconValley Email: lexiconvalley@slate.com Learn more…
Has English Gotten Less Complex?
Sep 17, 2019 • 40 min
Slate Plus members get bonus segments and ad-free podcast feeds. Sign up now. English has shed many of its nuances over the centuries. Take pronouns, for example. Twitter: @lexiconvalley Facebook: facebook.com/LexiconValley Email: lexiconvalley@slate.com…
S#!t, Hell and Darn
Sep 3, 2019 • 36 min
Slate Plus members get bonus segments and ad-free podcast feeds. Sign up now. Curse words can reveal a lot about language. S#!t, hell and darn, to name three, contain countless linguistic lessons. Join Slate Plus! Members get bonus segments, exclusive…
This Family Speaks 1,200 Languages
Aug 19, 2019 • 46 min
Slate Plus members get bonus segments and ad-free podcast feeds. Sign up now. From Madagascar to Easter Island, Austronesian tongues traveled far and wide with early seafarers. Join Slate Plus! Members get bonus segments, exclusive member-only podcasts,…
Language vs. Dialect
Aug 6, 2019 • 41 min
Slate Plus members get bonus segments and ad-free podcast feeds. Sign up now. The difference between a language and a dialect is mostly meaningless and entirely political. Join Slate Plus! Members get bonus segments, exclusive member-only podcasts, and…
The Internet Loves the Exclamation Point!!
Jul 23, 2019 • 38 min
Slate Plus members get bonus segments and ad-free podcast feeds. Sign up now. A conversation with linguist Gretchen McCulloch about her new book, Because Internet. Join Slate Plus! Members get bonus segments, exclusive member-only podcasts, and more. Sign…
Why Is “Ph” Pronounced That Way?
Jul 9, 2019 • 46 min
Why is ph pronounced that way? The answer is positively phantastic. Join Slate Plus! Members get bonus segments, exclusive member-only podcasts, and more. Sign up for a free trial today at www.slate.com/podcastsplus. Twitter: @lexiconvalley Facebook:…
Does Language Affect Thought?
Jun 25, 2019 • 47 min
We revisit the popular notion that our language helps shapes our worldview. Join Slate Plus! Members get bonus segments, exclusive member-only podcasts, and more. Sign up for a free trial today at www.slate.com/podcastsplus. Twitter: @lexiconvalley…
A Fleeting Glance
Jun 11, 2019 • 38 min
The word transient reveals some enduring patterns in English pronunciation and etymology. Join Slate Plus! Members get bonus segments, exclusive member-only podcasts, and more. Sign up for a free trial today at www.slate.com/podcastsplus. Twitter:…
The Romance Languages
May 28, 2019 • 43 min
What an ancient, undecipherable manuscript says—and doesn’t say—about Latin and its spawn. Join Slate Plus! Members get bonus segments, exclusive member-only podcasts, and more. Sign up for a free trial today at www.slate.com/podcastsplus. Twitter:…
Why Do Some Americans Say Warshed?
May 14, 2019 • 47 min
The letter R has a habit of intruding on spoken English. How come? Join Slate Plus! Members get bonus segments, exclusive member-only podcasts, and more. Sign up for a free trial today at www.slate.com/podcastsplus. Twitter: @lexiconvalley Facebook:…
Flores Man vs. Sulawesi
Apr 29, 2019 • 46 min
A linguistic mystery in the Lesser Sunda Islands. Join Slate Plus! Members get bonus segments, exclusive member-only podcasts, and more. Sign up for a free trial today at www.slate.com/podcastsplus. Twitter: @lexiconvalley Facebook:…
The Lingua Francas
Apr 15, 2019 • 35 min
A conversation with Gaston Dorren, author of Babel: Around the World in Twenty Languages. Join Slate Plus! Members get bonus segments, exclusive member-only podcasts, and more. Sign up for a free trial today at www.slate.com/podcastsplus. Twitter:…
Can Climate Influence Language?
Apr 2, 2019 • 44 min
Tonal languages evolved mostly in hot and humid places. What would explain that? Join Slate Plus! Members get bonus segments, exclusive member-only podcasts, and more. Sign up for a free trial today at www.slate.com/podcastsplus. Twitter: @lexiconvalley…
When Ain’t Was Alright
Mar 19, 2019 • 38 min
What we can learn about English from am, the seemingly simplest verb. Join Slate Plus! Members get bonus segments, exclusive member-only podcasts, and more. Sign up for a free trial today at www.slate.com/podcastsplus. Twitter: @lexiconvalley Facebook:…
The Semitic Tongues
Mar 5, 2019 • 44 min
Where did Arabic, Hebrew, Amharic and their kin originate? And what is a triconsonantal root? Join Slate Plus! Members get bonus segments, exclusive member-only podcasts, and more. Sign up for a free trial today at www.slate.com/podcastsplus. Twitter:…
Precious Little
Feb 18, 2019 • 41 min
This episode is brought to you by Babbel. Try for free today at babbel.com/lexicon. How an old word for child morphed into a versatile, and very modern, suffix. Join Slate Plus! Members get bonus segments, exclusive member-only podcasts, and more. Sign up…
When Words Collide
Feb 5, 2019 • 43 min
This episode is brought to you by Babbel. Try for free today at babbel.com/lexicon. Some more of the many ways that neologisms form. Join Slate Plus! Members get bonus segments, exclusive member-only podcasts, and more. Sign up for a free trial today at…
Truth Be Told
Jan 22, 2019 • 38 min
This episode is brought to you by Babbel. Try for free today at babbel.com/lexicon. An actually very literal discussion of true words. Really! Join Slate Plus! Members get bonus segments, exclusive member-only podcasts, and more. Sign up for a free trial…
A Penetrating History of F*%k
Jan 8, 2019 • 45 min
English speakers have been getting it on with the F-word for centuries. Join Slate Plus! Members get bonus segments, exclusive member-only podcasts, and more. Sign up for a free trial today at www.slate.com/podcastsplus. Twitter: @lexiconvalley Facebook:…
When Did English Get Happy?
Dec 25, 2018 • 36 min
A New Year’s meditation on a joyful word. Join Slate Plus! Members get bonus segments, exclusive member-only podcasts, and more. Sign up for a free trial today at www.slate.com/podcastsplus. Twitter: @lexiconvalley Facebook: facebook.com/LexiconValley…
Sponsored: Adjusting the Lens on Chronic Disease
Dec 13, 2018 • 28 min
More than half of Americans are currently living with one or more serious, preventable, chronic diseases. These rates are expected to increase significantly over the next two decades. In this episode of Life Effects, host Sara Ivry talks to Gabriel…
Why Language Can’t Be Tamed
Dec 11, 2018 • 39 min
A conversation with Lane Greene, author of Talk on the Wild Side, about the “vague and anarchic” nature of language. Join Slate Plus! Members get bonus segments, exclusive member-only podcasts, and more. Sign up for a free trial today at…
Is Social Media Changing English?
Nov 27, 2018 • 40 min
Our speech is becoming more childlike, but not for the reasons you think. Join Slate Plus! Members get bonus segments, exclusive member-only podcasts, and more. Sign up for a free trial today at www.slate.com/podcastsplus. Twitter: @lexiconvalley…
What Was the First Language?
Nov 13, 2018 • 46 min
How far back can we trace, with any accuracy, the spoken word? Join Slate Plus! Members get bonus segments, exclusive member-only podcasts, and more. Sign up for a free trial today at www.slate.com/podcastsplus. Twitter: @lexiconvalley Facebook:…
So … Let’s Talk About So
Oct 30, 2018 • 38 min
How long have we been starting our sentences with “so”? Join Slate Plus! Members get bonus segments, exclusive member-only podcasts, and more. Sign up for a free trial today at www.slate.com/podcastsplus. Twitter: @lexiconvalley Facebook:…
Like-Minded
Oct 16, 2018 • 32 min
This episode is brought to you by the following advertisers: Slack, a workplace communication hub. Find out more at slack.com. Babbel, the #1-selling language learning app in the world. Get 50% off your 6-month subscription today at babbel.com/lexicon.…
Why Do Southerners Talk Like That?
Oct 2, 2018 • 38 min
John McWhorter dissects the many distinct features that make up Southern speech. Join Slate Plus! Members get bonus segments, exclusive member-only podcasts, and more. Sign up for a free trial today at www.slate.com/podcastsplus. Twitter: @lexiconvalley…
The Habitual Past
Sep 18, 2018 • 33 min
Did you “used to” do something but don’t any longer? Where does that expression come from?! Join Slate Plus! Members get bonus segments, exclusive member-only podcasts, and more. Sign up for a free trial today at www.slate.com/podcastsplus. Twitter:…
A Riot of Color
Sep 4, 2018 • 39 min
This episode is brought by RXBAR, a whole-food protein bar, made from real, natural ingredients. For 25% off your first order, visit RXBAR.com/lexicon and enter promo code lexicon. Our word for “red” predates our word for “blue”—and that’s true for almost…
The Rise of They
Aug 21, 2018 • 41 min
John McWhorter says that English pronouns are evolving and it’s time to embrace it. Join Slate Plus! Members get bonus segments, exclusive member-only podcasts, and more. Sign up for a free trial today at www.slate.com/podcastsplus. Twitter:…
Wabbit Twacks
Aug 6, 2018 • 43 min
John McWhorter applies linguistic analysis to Looney Tunes. Join Slate Plus! Members get bonus segments, exclusive member-only podcasts, and more. Sign up for a free trial today at www.slate.com/podcastsplus. Twitter: @lexiconvalley Facebook:…
Tee Time
Jul 24, 2018 • 41 min
John McWhorter on what the French Canadian version of The Flintstones can teach us about the letter T. Join Slate Plus! Members get bonus segments, exclusive member-only podcasts, and more. Sign up for a free trial today at www.slate.com/podcastsplus.…
Happy Birthday OED!
Jul 10, 2018 • 35 min
John McWhorter raises an etymological glass to the nonagenarian Oxford English Dictionary. Join Slate Plus! Members get bonus segments, exclusive member-only podcasts, and more. Sign up for a free trial today at www.slate.com/podcastsplus. Twitter:…
If Frozen, Why Not Squozen?
Jun 26, 2018 • 37 min
John McWhorter on language lessons from this year’s Tony nominees for Best Musical. Join Slate Plus! Members get bonus segments, exclusive member-only podcasts, and more. Sign up for a free trial today at www.slate.com/podcastsplus. Twitter:…
The Pronouning of Profanities
Jun 12, 2018 • 33 min
John McWhorter on the way in which words like f*ck and sh*t are increasingly standing in for it and that. Join Slate Plus! Members get bonus segments, exclusive member-only podcasts, and more. Sign up for a free trial today at www.slate.com/podcastsplus.…
One Tongue to Rule Them All
May 29, 2018 • 37 min
John McWhorter on the tantalizing prospect of a universal language. Join Slate Plus! Members get bonus segments, exclusive member-only podcasts, and more. Sign up for a free trial today at www.slate.com/podcastsplus. Twitter: @lexiconvalley Facebook:…
The Art of the Spiel
May 15, 2018 • 43 min
A brief history of oratory from the Gilded Age to the Era of Trump. Join Slate Plus! Members get bonus segments, exclusive member-only podcasts, and more. Sign up for a free trial today at www.slate.com/podcastsplus. Twitter: @lexiconvalley Facebook:…
Lend Me Your Ears: Julius Caesar
May 9, 2018 • 0 min
Lend Me Your Ears is a six-part podcast miniseries exploring how Shakespeare’s works have shaped our modern views on politics. Each month, host Isaac Butler will dig into a different Shakespeare play to explore how Shakespeare was responding to his…
Getting to Yes
May 1, 2018 • 36 min
Yes! John McWhorter on our compact, workaday affirmative. Join Slate Plus! Members get bonus segments, exclusive member-only podcasts, and more. Sign up for a free trial today at www.slate.com/podcastsplus. Twitter: @lexiconvalley Facebook:…
The Story of P
Apr 17, 2018 • 38 min
John McWhorter on why the 16th letter of our alphabet is a fancy little thing. Join Slate Plus! Members get bonus segments, exclusive member-only podcasts, and more. Sign up for a free trial today at www.slate.com/podcastsplus. Twitter: @lexiconvalley…
English Spelling Is a Beautiful Mess
Apr 3, 2018 • 36 min
John McWhorter on why English spelling is so frustratingly idiosyncratic. Join Slate Plus! Members get bonus segments, exclusive member-only podcasts, and more. Sign up for a free trial today at www.slate.com/podcastsplus. Twitter: @lexiconvalley…
Did the Founding Fathers Have a British Accent?
Mar 20, 2018 • 37 min
John McWhorter on what Washington, Franklin and Hamilton may have sounded like. Join Slate Plus! Members get bonus segments, exclusive member-only podcasts, and more. Sign up for a free trial today at www.slate.com/podcastsplus. Twitter: @lexiconvalley…
No-Uh!
Mar 6, 2018 • 35 min
John McWhorter on the rise of an exclamatory syllable in English. Join Slate Plus! Members get bonus segments, exclusive member-only podcasts, and more. Sign up for a free trial today at www.slate.com/podcastsplus. Twitter: @lexiconvalley Facebook:…
The Inner Workings of Out
Feb 20, 2018 • 34 min
John McWhorter on the rich complexities of a humble preposition. Join Slate Plus! Members get bonus segments, exclusive member-only podcasts, and more. Sign up for a free trial today at www.slate.com/podcastsplus. Twitter: @lexiconvalley Facebook:…
Words, For Her
Feb 6, 2018 • 35 min
John McWhorter on the origin of woman, girl and other lady terms. Join Slate Plus! Members get bonus segments, exclusive member-only podcasts, and more. Sign up for a free trial today at www.slate.com/podcastsplus. Twitter: @lexiconvalley Facebook:…
What’s the Deal with Eleven?
Jan 23, 2018 • 45 min
John McWhorter on the etymology and pronunciation of English numbers. Join Slate Plus! Members get bonus segments, exclusive member-only podcasts, and more. Sign up for a free trial today at www.slate.com/podcastsplus. Twitter: @lexiconvalley Facebook:…
There Are Two N-Words
Jan 9, 2018 • 35 min
Like gangster and gangsta, nigger and nigga have become two distinct words. Join Slate Plus! Members get bonus segments, exclusive member-only podcasts, and more. Sign up for a free trial today at www.slate.com/podcastsplus. Twitter: @lexiconvalley…
The Thing Is Is
Dec 26, 2017 • 34 min
The problem is, is that we sometimes say is twice. Why? Join Slate Plus! Members get bonus segments, exclusive member-only podcasts, and more. Sign up for a free trial today at www.slate.com/podcastsplus. Twitter: @lexiconvalley Facebook:…
An Accidental Sanctity
Dec 12, 2017 • 34 min
Biblical scholar Mark Ward discusses his forthcoming book, Authorized: The Use and Misuse of the King James Bible. Join Slate Plus! Members get bonus segments, exclusive member-only podcasts, and more. Sign up for a free trial today at…
Thanksgiving Misnomers
Nov 28, 2017 • 36 min
Turkey? Pumpkin? Squash? They’re all mistakes. Join Slate Plus! Members get bonus segments, exclusive member-only podcasts, and more. Sign up for a free trial today at www.slate.com/podcastsplus. Twitter: @lexiconvalley Facebook:…
Sometimes Just Because
Nov 14, 2017 • 32 min
Language is often at the mercy of pure chance. Join Slate Plus! Members get bonus segments, exclusive member-only podcasts, and more. Sign up for a free trial today at www.slate.com/podcastsplus. Twitter: @lexiconvalley Facebook:…
Against Strunk & White
Oct 31, 2017 • 32 min
It’s time to permanently shelve the Elements of Style. Join Slate Plus! Members get bonus segments, exclusive member-only podcasts, and more. Sign up for a free trial today at www.slate.com/podcastsplus. Twitter: @lexiconvalley Facebook:…
Whence Baby Mama?
Oct 17, 2017 • 38 min
John McWhorter answers questions from Lexicon Valley listeners. Join Slate Plus! Members get bonus segments, exclusive member-only podcasts, and more. Sign up for a free trial today at www.slate.com/podcastsplus. Twitter: @lexiconvalley Facebook:…
Este No Es Parqueo
Oct 3, 2017 • 36 min
After parking in front of a garage, John received a note written in Spanish. Join Slate Plus! Members get bonus segments, exclusive member-only podcasts, and more. Sign up for a free trial today at www.slate.com/podcastsplus. Twitter: @lexiconvalley…
From Pidgins to Creoles
Sep 19, 2017 • 39 min
John McWhorter discusses the process by which some new languages are born. Join Slate Plus! Members get bonus segments, exclusive member-only podcasts, and more. Sign up for a free trial today at www.slate.com/podcastsplus. Twitter: @lexiconvalley…
Do Languages Simplify Over Time?
Sep 5, 2017 • 32 min
Old English was arguably more complicated than Modern English. Is that true of all languages? Join Slate Plus! Members get bonus segments, exclusive member-only podcasts, and more. Sign up for a free trial today at www.slate.com/podcastsplus. Twitter:…
Did Cavebabies Say Mama and Papa?
Aug 22, 2017 • 31 min
Languages across the world developed similar words for mom and dad. How is that possible? Join Slate Plus! Members get bonus segments, exclusive member-only podcasts, and more. Sign up for a free trial today at www.slate.com/podcastsplus. Twitter:…
New Life for Dying Languages
Aug 8, 2017 • 37 min
The Language Conservancy’s Wil Meya discusses the effort to revive Native American languages. Join Slate Plus! Members get bonus segments, exclusive member-only podcasts, and more. Sign up for a free trial today at www.slate.com/podcastsplus. Twitter:…
In the Negative
Jul 25, 2017 • 32 min
John McWhorter on the history and evolution of no and not. Join Slate Plus! Members get bonus segments, exclusive member-only podcasts, and more. Sign up for a free trial today at www.slate.com/podcastsplus. Twitter: @lexiconvalley Facebook:…
Why Do Languages Have Contractions?
Jul 11, 2017 • 36 min
John McWhorter explains why we love shrinkage. Join Slate Plus! Members get bonus segments, exclusive member-only podcasts, and more. Sign up for a free trial today at www.slate.com/podcastsplus. Twitter: @lexiconvalley Facebook:…
The Incredible Lightness of Being
Jun 27, 2017 • 29 min
John McWhorter considers the eccentric irregularity of the verb to be. Join Slate Plus! Members get bonus segments, exclusive member-only podcasts, and more. Sign up for a free trial today at www.slate.com/podcastsplus. Twitter: @lexiconvalley Facebook:…
Is There a Jewish Way of Talking?
Jun 13, 2017 • 38 min
John McWhorter interrupts the hosts of Unorthodox to discuss hallmarks and stereotypes of Jewish communication style. Twitter: @lexiconvalley Facebook: facebook.com/LexiconValley Email: lexiconvalley@slate.com Learn more about your ad choices. Visit…
Mining Graffiti for Slang
May 30, 2017 • 31 min
John McWhorter talks to Ben Zimmer about the Vietnam Graffiti Project and other slangy topics. Join Slate Plus! Members get bonus segments, exclusive member-only podcasts, and more. Sign up for a free trial today at www.slate.com/podcastsplus. Twitter:…
That’s Not a Word, Is It?
May 16, 2017 • 30 min
John McWhorter discusses the near-futile impulse to determine what is, and what is not, a word. Join Slate Plus! Members get bonus segments, exclusive member-only podcasts, and more. Sign up for a free trial today at www.slate.com/podcastsplus. Twitter:…
The Language of Female Friendships
May 2, 2017 • 35 min
John McWhorter discusses communication styles with linguist Deborah Tannen, author of You’re the Only One I Can Tell: Inside the Language of Women’s Friendships. Join Slate Plus! Members get bonus segments, exclusive member-only podcasts, and more. Sign…
The Euphemism Treadmill
Apr 18, 2017 • 28 min
John McWhorter on the evolution from “crippled” to “handicapped” to “differently abled” and why no such term is likely to stick around long. Join Slate Plus! Members get bonus segments, exclusive member-only podcasts, and more. Sign up for a free trial…
Heyo, Let’s Talk About Hamilton
Apr 4, 2017 • 30 min
John McWhorter talks to linguist Neal Whitman about the mash-up of hey and yo. Join Slate Plus! Members get bonus segments, exclusive member-only podcasts, and more. Sign up for a free trial today at www.slate.com/podcastsplus. Twitter: @lexiconvalley…
Earlier American English—More Profane, Parochial and Provincial
Mar 21, 2017 • 32 min
John McWhorter time travels to 1930 and eavesdrops on American English. Join Slate Plus! Members get bonus segments, exclusive member-only podcasts, and more. Sign up for a free trial today at www.slate.com/podcastsplus. Twitter: @lexiconvalley Facebook:…
Like, Why Do We Use Like So Much?
Feb 7, 2017 • 35 min
John McWhorter talks to sociolinguist Alexandra D’Arcy about the spike in our use of like. Join Slate Plus! Members get bonus segments, exclusive member-only podcasts, and more. Sign up for a free trial today at www.slate.com/podcastsplus. Twitter:…
What Had Happened Was Storytelling
Jan 24, 2017 • 33 min
John McWhorter discusses the subject of his new book, Talking Back, Talking Black: Truths About America’s Lingua Franca. Join Slate Plus! Members get bonus segments, exclusive member-only podcasts, and more. Sign up for a free trial today at…
Why We Stopped Teaching Children How to Read
Jan 10, 2017 • 32 min
Mark Seidenberg, author of Language at the Speed of Sight: How We Read, Why So Many Can’t, and What Can Be Done About It, discusses the fallout from the so-called reading wars. Join Slate Plus! Members get bonus segments, exclusive member-only podcasts,…
Away in a Penthouse, the Little Lord Jesus
Dec 27, 2016 • 28 min
When hath gave way to has, the original meaning of merry, and other insights from popular Christmas carols. Join Slate Plus! Members get bonus segments, exclusive member-only podcasts, and more. Sign up for a free trial today at…
What “The Wizard of Oz” Can Tell Us About “Arrival”
Dec 13, 2016 • 30 min
In Arrival, Amy Adams plays a linguist who discovers that language can radically alter one’s perception of reality. But is that true? Join Slate Plus! Members get bonus segments, exclusive member-only podcasts, and more. Sign up for a free trial today at…
Black Like Us
Nov 29, 2016 • 36 min
Are the slang, sounds, and syntax of Black English a kind of lingua franca for America’s youth? Join Slate Plus! Members get bonus segments, exclusive member-only podcasts, and more. Sign up for a free trial today at www.slate.com/podcastsplus. Twitter:…
Language Lessons of Past Presidents
Nov 15, 2016 • 32 min
What can we learn about English from Bill Clinton, the two Bushes, and other leaders of the free world? Join Slate Plus! Members get bonus segments, exclusive member-only podcasts, and more. Sign up for a free trial today at www.slate.com/podcastsplus.…
Whither Didst Thou Go?
Nov 1, 2016 • 36 min
How our rich and complex system of second person pronouns got whittled down to just “you.” Join Slate Plus! Members get bonus segments, exclusive member-only podcasts, and more. Sign up for a free trial today at www.slate.com/podcastsplus. Twitter:…
Why Do People Talk Like That in Old Movies?
Oct 18, 2016 • 34 min
What Bette Davis, FDR, and Ralph Kramden have in common when it comes to speech. Join Slate Plus! Members get bonus segments, exclusive member-only podcasts, and more. Sign up for a free trial today at www.slate.com/podcastsplus. Twitter: @lexiconvalley…
Billy and Me Went to the Store. Deal With It.
Oct 4, 2016 • 29 min
John McWhorter on what the intricacies of the future tense tell us about the unwritten rules of pronouns. Join Slate Plus! Members get bonus segments, exclusive member-only podcasts, and more. Sign up for a free trial today at www.slate.com/podcastsplus.…
What Is a Dictionary, Really?
Sep 20, 2016 • 26 min
John Simpson, former editor of the Oxford English Dictionary, talks about life as a lexicographer. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
The Invisible Language of Nursery Rhymes
Sep 6, 2016 • 27 min
What does “Hickory Dickory Dock” really mean? John McWhorter makes linguistic sense of seemingly arbitrary children’s verse. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Word Sex
Aug 23, 2016 • 39 min
How Words Hook Up and Make New Ones Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Should Shakespeare Get a Modern English Update?
Aug 8, 2016 • 48 min
John McWhorter talks with author Jack Lynch about the sacrilege of modified Shakespeare. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Are Emoji a Language?
Jul 26, 2016 • 42 min
Gretchen McCulloch talks to John McWhorter about the big meaning behind our favorite little pictograms. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Finding Life in a Dead Language
Jul 12, 2016 • 29 min
Ann Patty, author of “Living With a Dead Language: My Romance With Latin,” talks about her transformative experience of learning Latin. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Rules Are Made to Be Spoken
Jun 29, 2016 • 33 min
Sali Tagliamonte, author of Making Waves: The Story of Variationist Sociolinguistics, talks about the underlying disorder of the English Language. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
The Tragedy of English Spelling
Jun 14, 2016 • 29 min
Etymologist and poet Anatoly Liberman says that English is one of the most difficult languages to spell. But we can change that. Join Slate Plus! Members get bonus segments, exclusive member-only podcasts, and more. Sign up for a free trial today at…
Your Brain on Profanity
May 31, 2016 • 34 min
Benjamin K. Bergen, author of the upcoming What the F: What Swearing Reveals About Our Language, Our Brains, and Ourselves, discusses the science of cursing. Join Slate Plus! Members get bonus segments, exclusive member-only podcasts, and more. Sign up…
Rock, Paper, Scissors, Shoot!
May 17, 2016 • 28 min
How an American Revolutionary War figure spawned a new name for a very old game. Join Slate Plus! Members get bonus segments, exclusive member-only podcasts, and more. Sign up for a free trial today at www.slate.com/podcastsplus. Twitter:…
The Blaccent: What Does It Mean to Sound Black?
May 3, 2016 • 29 min
Linguist John McWhorter argues that it makes perfect sense for the speech of black and white Americans to have subtle differences. Join Slate Plus! Members get bonus segments, exclusive member-only podcasts, and more. Sign up for a free trial today at…
A Wild Goose Chase that Stinks from Fish
Apr 19, 2016 • 24 min
How did Clupea harengus come to signify a diversionary tactic? Join Slate Plus! Members get bonus segments, exclusive member-only podcasts, and more. Sign up for a free trial today at www.slate.com/podcastsplus. Twitter: @lexiconvalleyFacebook:…
Defecation Presentation
Apr 4, 2016 • 29 min
The earliest known citation for “shit show” is from an English-language translation of a 1970s criminal trial in Germany. But what was the word or phrase being translated? Join Slate Plus! Members get bonus segments, exclusive member-only podcasts, and…
Take This Episode with a Grain of Salt
Mar 8, 2016 • 31 min
A salty phrase with roots in Ancient Rome has confounded English speakers for centuries. Join Slate Plus! Members get bonus segments, exclusive member-only podcasts, and more. Sign up for a free trial today at www.slate.com/podcastsplus. Twitter:…
The Full, Firm, Valiant, and Heavy-Hearted Trump
Feb 22, 2016 • 30 min
Donald Trump calls people (and publications) he doesn’t like “sad.” When did that word become an insult? Lexicon Valley is brought to you by Blue Apron. For less than $10 per meal, Blue Apron delivers right to your door everything you need to create a…
A British Insult Fit for Trump
Feb 8, 2016 • 34 min
A peculiar insult from the north of England has the Oxford English Dictionary stumped. Lexicon Valley is brought to you by The Great Courses Plus, a new video service with more than 5,000 lectures. As a member, you can watch as many lectures as you want…
They Had a Good Year
Jan 27, 2016 • 38 min
A pronoun that English borrowed from its Scandinavian neighbors gets new life as a gender neutral alternative to he and she. Lexicon Valley is brought to you by Blue Apron. For less than $10 per meal, Blue Apron delivers right to your door everything you…
The Curious Case of a Conspiratorial Coinage
Jan 11, 2016 • 38 min
Bob Garfield and Mike Vuolo talk about a mystery word or phrase with lexicographer Ben Zimmer. Lexicon Valley is brought to you by The Great Courses Plus, a new video learning service with more than 5,000 lectures. As a member of The Great Courses Plus,…
Tears of Joy, Identity, and a Prism of Isms
Dec 28, 2015 • 34 min
Bob Garfield and Mike Vuolo talk to editors at Oxford, Merriam-Webster, and Dictionary.com about their picks for Word of the Year. Lexicon Valley is brought to you by Headspace. If you’ve ever been curious about meditation or would like to reacquaint…
Sleeping Hobos in a Tent, Rush ‘Em!
Dec 14, 2015 • 32 min
Bob Garfield and Mike Vuolo discuss the early 20th-century origins of a bizarre food-industry code with lexicographer Ben Zimmer. Lexicon Valley is brought to you by The Message, an original science fiction podcast from Panoply and GE Podcast Theater. All…
Snoozefest
Nov 30, 2015 • 31 min
Bob Garfield and Mike Vuolo discuss the energetic history of the word sleep. Lexicon Valley is brought to you by The Message, an original science fiction podcast from Panoply and GE Podcast Theater. All of Season 1 is available now, so listen and find out…
Woody Guthrie’s Folk Etymology
Nov 16, 2015 • 30 min
Bob Garfield and Mike Vuolo discuss a word that was popularized during the 1940s folk movement with lexicographer Ben Zimmer.

Lexicon Valley is brought to you by The Message, a new podcast series from GE Podcast Theater. And by Texture, the mobile app…
A Cat, a Coward, and Female Genitalia
Nov 2, 2015 • 34 min
Bob Garfield and Mike Vuolo discuss the etymological quirkiness of the word “pussy.” Lexicon Valley is brought to you by The Message, a new podcast series from GE Podcast Theater. Join Slate Plus! Members get bonus segments, exclusive member-only…
A Drone, a Bell, and a Suffix
Oct 19, 2015 • 31 min
Bob Garfield and Mike Vuolo discuss a piece of old American slang with lexicographer Ben Zimmer. Lexicon Valley is brought to you by The Message, a new podcast series from GE Podcast Theate. And by Texture, the mobile app that lets you tap directly into…
Seven Centuries of F—ks
Oct 5, 2015 • 34 min
Bob Garfield and Mike Vuolo talk to Jesse Sheidlower, author of The F-Word, about a recent discovery in the history of one our most enduring expletives. Lexicon Valley is brought to you by The Message, a new podcast series from GE Podcast Theater Join…
An Ambitious Enterprise, Quixotic and Unavailing
Sep 21, 2015 • 33 min
Bob Garfield and Mike Vuolo discuss a mystery word or phrase with lexicographer Ben Zimmer. Lexicon Valley is sponsored by OPEN ACCOUNT, a podcast series created by SuChin Pak and Umpqua Bank. OPEN ACCOUNT explores, through honest and sometimes comical…
How New York Became the Big Apple
Sep 7, 2015 • 24 min
Bob Garfield and Mike Vuolo discuss the true story behind the most famous municipal nickname. Join Slate Plus! Members get bonus segments, exclusive member-only podcasts, and more. Sign up for a free trial today at www.slate.com/podcastsplus. Twitter:…
Why Do Latin Americans Call English Speakers Gringos?
Aug 24, 2015 • 35 min
Bob Garfield and Mike Vuolo discuss the origin of a Spanish-language pejorative with lexicographer Ben Zimmer. Lexicon Valley is sponsored by the Great Courses, offering engaging audio and video lectures taught by top professors. Courses like “Great…
What Do You Mean What Is It Like?
Aug 10, 2015 • 31 min
Bob Garfield and Mike Vuolo discuss “A literary history of the strange expression ‘what is it like?’”—an article by lexicographer Anne Seaton. Lexicon Valley is sponsored by the Great Courses, offering engaging audio and video lectures taught by top…
LinguaFile XIV | Heebie Jeebies
Jul 27, 2015 • 39 min
Bob Garfield and Mike Vuolo discuss a mystery word or phrase with lexicographer Ben Zimmer. Lexicon Valley is sponsored by the Great Courses, offering engaging audio and video lectures taught by top professors. Courses like “The Secret Life of Words:…
What’s the Deal with Translating Seinfeld?
Jul 13, 2015 • 43 min
Bob Garfield and Mike Vuolo talk to journalist Jennifer Keishin Armstrong about the classic American sitcom Seinfeld and why it falls flat in other cultures and languages. Lexicon Valley is sponsored by the Great Courses, offering engaging audio and video…
LinguaFile XIII | Bozo
Jun 29, 2015 • 26 min
Bob Garfield and Mike Vuolo discuss a mystery word or phrase with lexicographer Ben Zimmer. Join Slate Plus! Members get bonus segments, exclusive member-only podcasts, and more. Sign up for a free trial today at www.slate.com/podcastsplus. Twitter:…
The Pollyanna Hypothesis
Jun 17, 2015 • 49 min
Bob Garfield and Mike Vuolo discuss what it means that language has a “positivity bias.” This week’s episode is sponsored by Blue Apron, the new service that delivers all the ingredients you need to make incredible meals at home. Discover a better way to…
LinguaFile XII | Kibitz
Jun 1, 2015 • 39 min
Bob Garfield and Mike Vuolo discuss a mystery word or phrase with lexicographer Ben Zimmer. This week’s episode is sponsored by The Great Courses and its series “Language A to Z.” Order it at 80% off the original price by visiting…
M’athchomaroon, Zhey Lajak Vezhven!
May 18, 2015 • 43 min
Bob Garfield and Mike Vuolo talk to conlanger David J. Peterson about the art and craft of creating languages for Game of Thrones. This week’s episode is sponsored by The Great Courses and its series “Language A to Z.” Order it at 80% off the original…
LinguaFile XI | Seersucker
May 4, 2015 • 35 min
Bob Garfield and Mike Vuolo discuss the origin of the word “seersucker” with lexicographer Ben Zimmer. This week’s episode is sponsored by The Great Courses and its series “Language A to Z.” Order it at 80% off the original price by visiting…
Double, Double, Toil and Trouble
Apr 20, 2015 • 40 min
Bob Garfield and Mike Vuolo don’t know nuthin’ about the double negative. Twitter: @lexiconvalley Facebook: facebook.com/LexiconValley Email: lexiconvalley@slate.com This week’s episode is sponsored by The Great Courses and its series “Language A to Z.”…
LinguaFile X | Pumpernickel
Apr 6, 2015 • 37 min
Bob Garfield and Mike Vuolo discuss the origin of the word “pumpernickel” with lexicographer Ben Zimmer. Twitter: @lexiconvalley Facebook: facebook.com/LexiconValley Email: lexiconvalley@slate.com This week’s episode is sponsored by The Great Courses and…
And Infinitum
Mar 23, 2015 • 38 min
Bob Garfield and Mike Vuolo discuss whether “try and” is an acceptable substitute for “try to.” Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
LinguaFile IX | Carnival
Mar 9, 2015 • 29 min
Bob Garfield and Mike Vuolo discuss the origin of the word “carnival” with lexicographer Ben Zimmer. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Sex Workers
Feb 23, 2015 • 35 min
Bob Garfield and Mike Vuolo discuss the authoress, the usherette, and the editrix with Anne Curzan, the lady professor. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
LinguaFile VIII | Quiz
Feb 9, 2015 • 26 min
Bob Garfield and Mike Vuolo discuss a mystery word or phrase with lexicographer Ben Zimmer. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
The Many Lives of Anna Karenina
Jan 26, 2015 • 39 min
Bob Garfield and Mike Vuolo talk to journalist and author Masha Gessen about translating Tolstoy. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
LinguaFile VII | Cockamamie
Jan 12, 2015 • 34 min
Bob Garfield and Mike Vuolo discuss a mystery word or phrase with lexicographer Ben Zimmer. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Exposure to Vape Culture
Dec 29, 2014 • 51 min
Bob Garfield and Mike Vuolo are joined by Peter Sokolowski of Merriam-Webster, Katherine Martin of Oxford University Press, Jane Solomon of Dictionary.com, and Erin McKean of Wordnik.com to discuss their respective Words of the Year. Learn more about your…
LinguaFile VI | Grog
Dec 15, 2014 • 27 min
Bob Garfield and Mike Vuolo discuss a mystery word or phrase with lexicographer Ben Zimmer. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
What Does It Mean to Sound Gay?
Dec 1, 2014 • 39 min
Bob Garfield and Mike Vuolo talk to speech scientist Benjamin Munson about the “gay voice.” Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
LinguaFile V | Get One’s Goat
Nov 17, 2014 • 35 min
Bob Garfield and Mike Vuolo discuss a mystery word or phrase with lexicographer Ben Zimmer. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Number Theory
Nov 3, 2014 • 29 min
Bob Garfield and Mike Vuolo ask the question: How did we go from “four and twenty” to “twenty four”? Show notes at www.slate.com/lexiconvalley. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
LinguaFile IV | Snark
Oct 20, 2014 • 44 min
Bob Garfield and Mike Vuolo discuss a mystery word or phrase with lexicographer Ben Zimmer. Show notes at www.slate.com/lexiconvalley. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Man on the Street
Oct 6, 2014 • 40 min
Bob Garfield and Mike Vuolo talk to Jonathon Green, author of The Vulgar Tongue and Green’s Dictionary of Slang, a 6,000-page, three-volume reference more than 20 years in the making. Show notes at www.slate.com/lexiconvalley. Learn more about your ad…
LinguaFile III | Orange
Sep 22, 2014 • 31 min
Bob Garfield and Mike Vuolo discuss a mystery word or phrase with lexicographer Ben Zimmer. Show notes at www.slate.com/lexiconvalley. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Demonstratively Speaking
Sep 8, 2014 • 32 min
Bob Garfield and Mike Vuolo discuss Sarah Palin’s use of demonstrative pronouns. Show notes at www.slate.com/lexiconvalley. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
LinguaFile II | Lagniappe
Aug 25, 2014 • 26 min
Bob Garfield and Mike Vuolo discuss a mystery word or phrase with lexicographer Ben Zimmer. Show notes at www.slate.com/lexiconvalley. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
The Manic Pixie and the Magical Negro
Aug 10, 2014 • 32 min
Bob Garfield and Mike Vuolo talk to arts critic Nathan Rabin and journalist Christopher John Farley about the phrases they coined to identify two of Hollywood’s most pernicious tropes. Show notes at www.slate.com/lexiconvalley. Learn more about your ad…
LinguaFile I | Discombobulate
Jul 27, 2014 • 20 min
Mike Vuolo and Bob Garfield discuss a mystery word or phrase with Vocabulary.com executive producer Ben Zimmer. Show notes at www.slate.com/lexiconvalley. Follow @lexiconvalley. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Lexicon Valley No. 38: Fisherman’s Whorf
Jul 13, 2014 • 36 min
Bob Garfield and Mike Vuolo talk to Columbia University professor John McWhorter about his new book, The Language Hoax. Show notes at www.slate.com/lexiconvalley. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Lexicon Valley No. 37: Legislating Language
Mar 10, 2014 • 34 min
Bob Garfield and Mike Vuolo discuss four legal cases in which the dictionary played a crucial part. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Lexicon Valley No. 36: The Dude Abides
Jan 27, 2014 • 38 min
Bob Garfield and Mike Vuolo discuss the early history of the word “dude.” Show notes at www.slate.com/lexiconvalley. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Lexicon Valley No. 35: Learning to Say No
Dec 23, 2013 • 27 min
Bob Garfield and Mike Vuolo discuss the many meanings of a child’s “no.” Show notes at www.slate.com/lexiconvalley. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Lexicon Valley No. 34: Ask Not Who Wrote “Ask Not”
Dec 16, 2013 • 31 min
Bob Garfield and Mike Vuolo discuss JFK’s Inaugural Address with Richard Tofel, author of Sounding the Trumpet. Show notes at www.slate.com/lexiconvalley. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Lexicon Valley No. 33: The End of Ambiguity
Dec 9, 2013 • 27 min
Bob Garfield and Mike Vuolo talk to linguist Arika Okrent about the most logical language ever invented. Show notes at www.slate.com/lexiconvalley. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Lexicon Valley: Special Announcement
Dec 4, 2013 • 3 min
Bob Garfield and Mike Vuolo announce the return of Lexicon Valley. Yay! Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Lexicon Valley No. 32: The Burden of Being Right
Aug 5, 2013 • 37 min
Bob Garfield and Mike Vuolo discuss the irresistible pull of language pedantry. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Lexicon Valley No. 31: Name That Tone
Jul 15, 2013 • 30 min
Bob Garfield and Mike Vuolo discuss the relationship between tonal languages and musical acuity. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Lexicon Valley No. 30: Eject at High Altitude
Jul 1, 2013 • 21 min
Mike Vuolo talks with an anthropological linguist about the influence geography might have on speech. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Lexicon Valley #29: 30 Million By Four
Jun 24, 2013 • 31 min
Bob Garfield and Mike Vuolo discuss the importance of talking to your child. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Lexicon Valley #28: A Brief History of Swearing
Jun 17, 2013 • 26 min
Bob Garfield and Mike Vuolo discuss curse words old and new with author Melissa Mohr. Show notes at slate.com/lexiconvalley. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Lexicon Valley #27: Accentuate the Positive
Jun 10, 2013 • 28 min
Bob Garfield and Mike Vuolo discuss the seemingly paradoxical phrase “yeah-no.” Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Special Announcement
Jun 1, 2013 • 3 min
Bob Garfield and Mike Vuolo announce a new run of Lexicon Valley episodes. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Special Announcement
Feb 13, 2013 • 3 min
Lexicon Valley will be back with a run of all-new episodes in the spring. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Lexicon Valley #26: The Fawth Flaw, Part II
Jan 28, 2013 • 31 min
Bob Garfield and Mike Vuolo discuss R-dropping and the New York accent. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Lexicon Valley #25: The Fawth Flaw
Jan 14, 2013 • 24 min
Bob Garfield and Mike Vuolo discuss a defining feature of the classic New York accent. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Lexicon Valley #24: Get Your Creak On
Dec 31, 2012 • 28 min
Bob Garfield and Mike Vuolo discuss creaky voice. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Lexicon Valley #23: Good Is Up
Dec 17, 2012 • 29 min
Bob Garfield and Mike Vuolo discuss metaphor and the “fiscal cliff.” Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Lexicon Valley #22: Talking Leaves and Lightning Paper
Dec 3, 2012 • 31 min
Bob Garfield and Mike Vuolo discuss the Cherokee syllabary. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Lexicon Valley #21: Undocumented Illegals
Nov 12, 2012 • 35 min
Bob Garfield and Mike Vuolo discuss the debate over “illegal” versus “undocumented” at the heart of U.S. immigration policy. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Lexicon Valley #20: Death to Potatoes
Oct 29, 2012 • 34 min
Bob Garfield and Mike Vuolo speak with Nataly Kelly, coauthor of Found in Translation: How Language Shapes Our Lives and Transforms the World. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Lexicon Valley #19: Here’s to You Mrs. Malaprop
Oct 15, 2012 • 33 min
Bob Garfield and Mike Vuolo discuss what malapropisms might reveal about the way we organize our mental dictionary. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Lexicon Valley #18: The Rate of Exchange
Oct 1, 2012 • 27 min
Bob Garfield and Mike Vuolo discuss the commonly held belief that some languages are spoken faster than others. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Lexicon Valley #17: Ascent of the A-word
Sep 17, 2012 • 27 min
Bob Garfield and Mike Vuolo talk to linguist Geoffrey Nunberg about his book Ascent of the A-word: A**holism, the First Sixty Years. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Special Announcement from Lexicon Valley
Jul 18, 2012 • 3 min
Mike announces a run of all new episodes beginning later in the summer. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Lexicon Valley #16: Our Dying Words
Jul 9, 2012 • 23 min
Bob Garfield and Mike Vuolo discuss what we lose when a language goes extinct. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Lexicon Valley #15: Then Is Now, Now and Then
Jul 2, 2012 • 32 min
Bob Garfield and Mike Vuolo discuss the historical present. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Lexicon Valley #14: By Their Words You Shall Know Them
Jun 18, 2012 • 32 min
Bob Garfield and Mike Vuolo discuss stylometry. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Lexicon Valley #13: Capturing the Past
Jun 11, 2012 • 40 min
Bob Garfield and Mike Vuolo talk about how Mad Men and Downton Abbey can teach us about language change. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Lexicon Valley #12: The Eloquence of Plain English
Jun 4, 2012 • 32 min
Bob Garfield and Mike Vuolo discuss the Gettysburg Address. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Lexicon Valley #11: When Being Done Replaced Doing
May 27, 2012 • 28 min
Bob Garfield and Mike Vuolo discuss the most significant change to the English language that you’ve never heard of. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Lexicon Valley #10: One Giant Leap for Humanity
May 14, 2012 • 39 min
Bob Garfield and Mike Vuolo discuss the he said/she said of the epicene pronoun. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Lexicon Valley #9: And May He Be a Masculine Bridge
May 7, 2012 • 32 min
Bob Garfield and Mike Vuolo discuss how a simple quirk of grammar may affect the way we think. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Lexicon Valley #8: When Nouns Grew Genitals
Apr 30, 2012 • 30 min
Bob Garfield and Mike Vuolo discuss what it means for language to have gender. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Lexicon Valley #7: A Needle Pulling Thread
Apr 23, 2012 • 30 min
Bob Garfield and Mike Vuolo discuss the big ambitions of the word “so.” Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Special Announcement from Lexicon Valley
Apr 4, 2012 • 3 min
Mike announces a batch of brand new episodes. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Lexicon Valley #6: A Meditation on Scrabble
Mar 11, 2012 • 35 min
Mike Vuolo talks to “Word Freak” author Stefan Fatsis about the nature of language in Scrabble. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Lexicon Valley #5: Untuning the String
Mar 4, 2012 • 37 min
Bob Garfield and Mike Vuolo talk to author David Skinner about his book, The Story of Ain’t, which will be published in the fall of 2012. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Lexicon Valley #4: Jumpin’ Salty in The O
Feb 26, 2012 • 41 min
Bob Garfield and Mike Vuolo discuss the vernacular wrapped in a dialect inside a language that some call Ebonics. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Lexicon Valley #3: Consider the Lamppost
Feb 20, 2012 • 30 min
Bob Garfield and Mike Vuolo discuss the hypercorrected incorrectness of “between you and I.” Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Lexicon Valley #2: A Bundle of Faggots
Feb 12, 2012 • 32 min
Bob Garfield and Mike Vuolo discuss the evolution of the word “faggot.” Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Lexicon Valley #1: A Sin of Which None Is Guilty
Feb 5, 2012 • 24 min
Bob Garfield and Mike Vuolo discuss the longstanding English language proscription against ending a sentence with a preposition. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices