Lexicon Valley

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Lexicon Valley is a show about language, from pet peeves, syntax, and etymology to neurolinguistics and the death of languages. Hosted by linguist John McWhorter.
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32:04 | Jul 25th, 2017

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: @lexiconvalleyFacebook: facebook.c...Show More

40:39 | Dec 10th

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: facebook...Show More
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45:02 | Nov 26th

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: @lexi...Show More

36:51 | Nov 12th

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: facebook....Show More

34:22 | Oct 29th

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 a...Show More
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37:50 | Oct 16th

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 L...Show More

36:50 | Oct 1st

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: @lexiconvalleyFacebook: facebook.com/LexiconValleyEmail: lexiconvalley@slate.comLearn more abo...Show More

40:31 | Sep 17th

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: @lexiconvalleyFacebook: facebook.com/LexiconValleyEmail: lexiconvalley@slate.com...Show More

36:21 | Sep 3rd

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 ...Show More

46:12 | Aug 19th

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...Show More

41:53 | Aug 6th

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...Show More

38:13 | Jul 23rd

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. S...Show More

46:19 | Jul 9th

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: @lexiconvalleyFacebook: f...Show More

47:04 | Jun 25th

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: @lexiconvalleyFac...Show More

38:48 | Jun 11th

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: @le...Show More

43:52 | May 28th

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: @l...Show More

47:31 | May 14th

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: @lexiconvalleyFacebook: fa...Show More

46:23 | Apr 29th

This episode is brought to you by The Great Courses. Go to thegreatcourses.com/lexicon to save 85% on “Building a Better Vocabulary.”A linguistic mystery in the Lesser Sunda Islands.Join Slate Plus! Members get bonus segments, exclusive member-only p...Show More

35:58 | Apr 16th

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: @le...Show More

44:57 | Apr 2nd

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: @lexiconvall...Show More

38:22 | Mar 19th

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: @lexiconvalleyFacebook:...Show More

44:01 | Mar 5th

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:...Show More

41:40 | Feb 19th

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...Show More

43:21 | Feb 6th

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 a...Show More

38:50 | Jan 22nd

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 tri...Show More

45:17 | Jan 8th

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: @lexiconvalleyFaceboo...Show More

36:59 | Dec 25th, 2018

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: @lexiconvalleyFacebook: facebook.com/LexiconValleyE...Show More

28:50 | Dec 13th, 2018

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 C...Show More

39:22 | Dec 11th, 2018

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 www.slate.com...Show More

40:25 | Nov 27th, 2018

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: @lexiconvalleyFaceb...Show More