Where Did Discombobulate Come From?
Listen to Slate’s show about the etymology of a most unusual word, featuring lexicographer Ben Zimmer.
No, Your Language Doesn’t Influence How You Experience the WorldListen to Slate’s show about The Language Hoax, in which author and linguist John McWhorter pushes back against the idea that language affects culture.
The Crowdsourcing of JFK’s Most Iconic SpeechListen to Slate's show about the crafting of President Kennedy’s inaugural address.
A Brief History of SwearingListen to Slate’s podcast about profanity and obscenity with author Melissa Mohr.
The Disappearing New Yawk AccentListen to Pt. 2 of Slate’s show about the fall and rise of rhoticity (pronouncing your R’s) in New York City English.
Do You Creak?Listen to Slate’s show about the much-reviled phenomenon, prominent among young American women, of “creaky voice.”
Talking Leaves and Lightning PaperThe illiterate Cherokee man who invented the alphabet for his language.
How Jews Grew HornsListen to Slate’s show about the all-important role that language translation (and mistranslation) plays in our lives.
Are Some Languages “Faster” Than Others?Bob Garfield and Mike Vuolo discuss the widespread belief that other languages are spoken more rapidly than your own.
Should We Care When a Language Dies?Listen to Slate’s show about what we stand to lose when a language goes extinct.
Does Your Writing Style Have a Fingerprint?Listen to Slate’s show about the surprising way mathematicians can determine authorship.
Was Honest Abe a Poet?How Lincoln’s speaking style evolved from overly ornate to the brilliant simplicity of Gettysburg.
Our Next Witness, Your Honor: The DictionaryListen to Slate’s show about court cases in which the dictionary played a starring role.
Why Is No Among a Child's First Words?Listen to Slate's show about the surprisingly complex taxonomy of simple negation.
Will Learning a "Logical" Language Make You Think More Logically?Listen to Slate's show about an invented language that forces you to choose your words carefully.
Can a Language Make You More Musical?How tonal languages such as Cantonese might give would-be musicians a leg up.
How to Raise Verbal ChildrenWhy talking to your kids is one of the most important investments you can make in their future.
Does “Yeah, No …” Mean Yes or No (or Both)?Listen to Slate’s podcast about the seemingly paradoxical phrase and its hidden logic.
Why Fiscal Cliff Is Such a Powerful MetaphorListen to Slate’s show about the ubiquity of spatial metaphors in our language.
From “Wetbacks” to “Illegals” to “Undocumented” to … ?Listen to Slate’s show about the heated debate over language at the heart of U.S. immigration policy.
Malapropisms: the Pineapple of Linguistic ErrorsWhat misspeaking might reveal about the way our mental dictionary is organized.
Who You Callin’ A**hole?Slate’s show about Geoffrey Nunberg’s new book Ascent of the A-Word, now with transcripts.
Talking About the Past in the Present TenseListen to Slate’s show about Seinfeld’s masterful use of a time-honored narrative technique.
“Lord Grantham, Don Draper’s on Hold”The algorithm that finds anachronisms in Downton Abbey, Mad Men, and Edith Wharton.
“The House is Building”?Why you never learned the passival tense, even though it used to be proper English grammar.